Nfld. & Labrador

Jamaican flavours coming to Corner Brook when new restaurant opens

People in Corner Brook will soon have a new international option when they're looking to dine out, when a Jamaican and Caribbean restaurant opens later this year.
Raymond Thomas, an associate professor at Memorial University's Grenfell campus, says he's excited to bring Jamaican and Caribbean food to Corner Brook when he opens a new restaurant this summer. (Brian McHugh/CBC)

People in Corner Brook will soon have a new international option when they're looking to dine out, when a Jamaican and Caribbean restaurant opens later this year.

Raymond Thomas, who's originally from Jamaica, has been working as an associate professor at Memorial University's Grenfell campus for about two years.

There's not a lot of diversity here in terms of international cuisine, probably it's a good idea to open a Jamaican restaurant.- Raymond Thomas

Thomas is planning to open up a Jamaican restaurant in the city later this summer after getting what he says is popular demand.

"After I started talking to locals, the first or second question is, 'Where are you from?' and when I say Jamaica they say, 'Oh, I love Jamaican food, I wish I could get Jamaican food here,'" he told CBC's Corner Brook Morning Show.

Add to that interest the number of people from Newfoundland and Labrador that vacation in the Caribbean and Thomas said it was a no-brainer.

"The thought hit me there's not a lot of diversity here in terms of international cuisine. Probably it's a good idea to open a Jamaican restaurant since I'm getting so much prompt [to]."

Long history of trade

According to Thomas, the idea first came to him not long after he arrived in Newfoundland.

He was in a taxi driving from Deer Lake Airport when the driver asked where he was from and when Thomas told him Jamaica, the driver had a story to tell.

"He said, 'you know, there's a long trade history between Jamaica and Newfoundland. We used to send you guys cod fish and you guys sent us rum back in a rum barrel, and we used to soak the rum out of the barrel once it came back. And that's how we got Newfoundland screech."'

Out of interest, Thomas did a bit of research on the topic and found there was indeed a long-standing trade relationship between Newfoundland and Jamaica.

Thomas has a Jamaican executive sous chef hired, but said they're still working through the work permit process. The chef is currently working on a Disney cruise line and Thomas said he's excited to get the chance to create a new menu at a new restaurant.

Thomas is hoping to get A Taste of Jamaica up and running on Broadway some time in August.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.