Love a key ingredient to food at new Havelock restaurant


Marjorie Salmon and Tommy Isaacs have teamed up to open Joy’s Jerk Shack Jamaican restaurant in the Westbrooke Shopping Center in Havelock.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Monday, July 7, 2014 at 09:44 AM.

Tommy Isaacs and Marjorie Salmon, new owners of Joy’s Jerk Shack in Havelock, believe they know the most important ingredient in the Jamaican style food they serve.

“The one word I would say describes our preparation, and that’s love,” Isaacs said. “We have to literally put our hearts into prepping our food to bring the quality that we want to the public. The food we cook here in the restaurant is the same food we serve our families. Everything’s about love and making sure the quality of food we make is the best quality.”

Joy’s Jerk Shack opened June 6 in the Westbrooke Shopping Center in Havelock, and the co-owners said the feedback from customers has been good.

“They will stand here for minutes trying to decide what to order,” Salmon said. “They’re usually in awe when we give them a sample. You’ve got to have a love for cooking and you pour all that and all your energy into cooking the food, and it comes out as your best. That’s what it is.”

Isaacs said he got the vision of opening the restaurant one day when driving home from his work as a Marine at Camp Johnson in Jacksonville. His inspiration comes from his mother, Joy Elaine Isaacs, who died in 2006 and for whom the restaurant is named.

“I felt it was something I felt I needed to do as a remembrance of who she was as a woman, a mother, and a caretaker for a multitude of people,” Isaacs said. “She was a type of woman who always liked to give. She was never about receiving. She always loved to cook daily for me and my friends, and I always sat back and watched her joy in the food she was providing. I thought, what’s the one thing that I could do to make her name known to the community, so that’s why I named the restaurant Joy.”

Isaacs had been working on the concept of his restaurant for about two years when he met Salmon. She, like Isaacs, grew up in Jamaica and grew up eating the food they now serve.

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