Taste of Jamaica moves to brick-and-mortar in West Dayton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

A pop-up serving authentic Jamaican cuisine has moved into its first brick-and-mortar location in West Dayton.

Qianya Sinclair, who owns Taste of Jamaica with her partner, Chris, told Dayton.com it feels amazing to get to this point.

“Every day the business is picking up,” Sinclair said. “We have our old customers, but we’re getting new faces every single day. I’m just ready to see how it’s going to be a year from now.”

Taste of Jamaica serves a variety of different Jamaican cuisine including oxtail and jerk chicken. Meals typically come with rice, peas and cabbage, but customers can add baked mac and cheese, sweet potato corn bread, Jamaican sodas and much more, Sinclair explained.

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

She said Chris, who is from Jamaica, oversees the food. Sinclair, from Dayton, is typically in the front of the house meeting customers.

“For me not being from Jamaica, I can relate to a person that’s local,” Sinclair said.

She also enjoys describing their dishes in an approachable way, especially to those unfamiliar with Jamaican cuisine. For example, she says their brown stew chicken is similar to a roast you would typically have with potatoes and carrots.

Taste of Jamaica started five years ago as a small pop-up. Sinclair explained she and her partner had never planned to open a restaurant.

“Once we had that first event and I saw the masses come out, I was like we’re on to something,” Sinclair said.

After their initial pop-up, they served food once a month at various locations and eventually moved to a pop-up at 4324 Salem Ave. in Dayton, where they were located for about four years.

“From there, we worked our way up,” Sinclair said. “It’s been a lot of grinding and we finally got our first brick-and-mortar location.”

Sinclair said her favorite part of owning a restaurant is the community. She looks forward to growing the business and is thankful for the customers that have supported them every step of the way.

“I am a people person,” she said. “I love meeting new people. Now that people are able to come inside and sit down, I can connect a little bit better with my customers.”

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

Sinclair said they would eventually like to have a building of their own to build or buy for themselves. She would also love to have multiple locations as well.

The restaurant is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday for delivery via third-party services, pick up and dine-in. Sinclair said they have plans to add a Jamaican-style bar and host weekly events geared towards Jamaican culture.

Taste of Jamaica, located at 100 N. James H. McGee Blvd., shares the space with The Munchin’ Buddha, a restaurant specializing in buddha (hibachi) bowls, street tacos, burgers, loaded fries and much more.

For more information about Taste of Jamaica, visit www.toj937.com or the restaurant’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

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