Pleasant Grove alumni, Anish Sheth, graduated from The University of Texas at 19 with a degree in Government and graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law in 2001. He practiced law in both Washington D.C. and New York for international law firms. Anish also worked in international finance at the Hong-Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Hong Kong. He founded and later sold World Peas Brand of plant-based snacks. Currently, he is the President of 4505 Meats and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Meredith Waters and their daughter Zara.
What is your favorite Texarkana memory?
Some of my fondest memories from Texarkana are from the years I spent at St. James Day School. From computer class, to musicals, to May Day—it was a small-town experience that was unlikely duplicated elsewhere.
Where was your favorite place to eat in Texarkana?
Bryce’s Cafeteria without a doubt. Even after my parents moved away, we still ordered their pies for the holidays.
What was the teen hangout when you lived here?
The Shuffle, Gordon’s parking lot, Central Mall, and when the big movie theater opened, (we were) there a lot.
How do you describe Texarkana to your friends?
An interesting city in the Piney Woods, halfway between Little Rock and Dallas on the Texas / Arkansas border.
Who is someone from Texarkana who impacted your life and why?
Mrs. Pat Wagy was my fourth grade teacher. She took such an interest in all of her students and pushed us to reach our full potential.
What do you love about Texarkana?
I love being from a town where there usually are less than three degrees of separation with anyone you meet.
What do you think makes Texarkana famous?
While there are many songs that mention Texarkana, to me, being “twice as nice” and straddling two states on a major roadway make it most notable to people.
What is your nickname for Texarkana?
T-town, of course.
What do you miss about Texarkana?
I miss the slower pace of life, the friendly smiles from strangers and the community involvement.
What words do you live by?
Life is too short to live the same day twice.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
People might think that growing up in a small town and being of a different ethnicity from 99% of your peers would be hard, but Texarkana was often filled with open-mindedness that I didn’t experience while living in New York, Hong Kong or San Francisco.
Where was your favorite place to shop in Texarkana?
Dillard’s. There weren’t really that many places to shop back then!
Were you a Hawk, Leopard, Razorback or Tiger?
A Hawk. I was a total nerd, so my rivalries were usually against some other debate team at a tiny East Texas school.
What would you change about Texarkana?
Change it back to the city before big box stores and chain restaurants arrived.
TXK Roots is Texarkana Monthly’s forum to highlight and honor Texarkana natives who have accomplished big things in the world. These folks may have relocated, but they took the values, education, work ethic and creativity instilled in them by growing up in this unique border city and used these qualities to blaze extraordinary trails. We asked them to share their thoughts about growing up here. No matter how far from Texarkana they may find themselves, we will always consider them our neighbors and we are proud to claim them as forever members of our extended Texarkana community. After all, “everyone is famous in their hometown!”