Final September, Frederick native Devona Austin urged her household to maneuver ahead with a lifelong dream of opening a restaurant. Her Jamaican-born dad and mom typically served tons of of individuals at barbecues pre-pandemic, and Austin has expertise within the startup house from her work within the hashish business.
Thus, Irie Eats was born. The takeout and supply Jamaican restaurant is presently working out of the Chopping Board on East 2nd Avenue, a shared industrial kitchen.
Austin felt the shared-use house would permit her household to be taught and show their enterprise idea with out committing to a lease, renovations and utility funds.
“We’d prefer to be in a meals truck fairly quickly,” Austin stated. “And that’s the following plan, however for now the shared house permits us to be taught to develop, and in order that’s why we’re there.”
Irie Eats is a real household enterprise. The recipes come from Devona’s dad and mom, Stanley and Charmaine Austin. Her siblings Tyler and Arijana work within the restaurant, and her sister Alexia, who presently lives in California, runs the social media accounts.
Stanley Austin stated the menu is presently scaled down so the household can concentrate on perfecting recipes and processes. Whereas he’s been cooking meals equivalent to oxtail, jerk hen, curry goat and Jamaican beef patties for years, making them in a industrial kitchen with totally different orders coming in directly is a brand new expertise.
“There’s undoubtedly some studying taking place,” he stated.
He admits the primary few days have been tough, however he was dedicated to treatment any buyer who didn’t get pleasure from their meal. Now that Irie Eats has been open for about seven weeks, the Austin household seems like they’re on higher footing. They’ve additionally been receiving good suggestions from the neighborhood and optimistic opinions on-line.
“It’s fast-paced. I believe day by day the workers is making an attempt to be higher than the day earlier than,” Devona stated. “I believe there’s nonetheless quite a lot of room for progress, however so long as we try to be higher and constant, at some point at a time, that’s all it’s going to take.”
Along with the meat entrees, Irie Eats additionally serves a vegetarian curry dish and sides equivalent to white rice and cabbage. Additionally they promote standard Jamaican drinks, together with the fruit-flavored soda Ting and D&G gentle drinks. Orders may be positioned on-line, and supply is out there in sure neighborhoods. Stanley Austin stated he’s engaged on getting tables and umbrellas for out of doors seating.
The identify of the restaurant comes from the Jamaican Patois and Rastafarian English phrase “irie,” which suggests “really feel good.”
“Meals makes up a lot of your life, and so that you need it to have that irie, cool vibes, and that’s what we’re going for,” Stanley Austin stated.
Whereas the restaurant continues to be new, Devona Austin hopes to at some point develop the enterprise to different areas or venues just like the aforementioned meals truck. The potential for progress excites her.
“We’ve at all times been a household that connects within the kitchen, and each of my grandmothers have been bakers or cooks or issues like that and have expertise with their very own retailers, so it was simply very pure for this to be one thing that we did,” she stated. “And I believe once we lastly did it, it was like, why didn’t we do that years in the past?”
Open for Enterprise is an occasional function highlighting new companies round Frederick County. Contact Erika Riley at [email protected].
Comply with Erika Riley on Twitter: @ej_riley