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Rising Stars: Meet Lucy Stridiron

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucy Stridiron.

Hi Lucy, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
In 2007, we purchased a food concession trailer in Florida with the hope of sharing our Virgin Islands/Puerto Rican culture. In 2013, we moved to Las Vegas, NV, and in 2016 we relocated to Jacksonville, NC. Shortly after relocating to Jacksonville, we started working at Camp Lejeune Military Base serving our military and civilians men and women from our concession trailer. Soon after, many folks in the community who enjoyed and appreciated our food but were unable to gain entry into Camp Lejeune asked when we were going to open a restaurant. Several years after, we were approached again regarding the opening of a restaurant.

We started looking for a place but the rent was so expensive that we stopped looking. We then discussed our situation with our Pastor asking for prayers and God’s guidance as to what God’s will was for our lives. We prayed and believed that God was able to open up the necessary doors and that He did. One day, I saw a commercial sign “for rent” and decided to make the call by faith. The realtor asked me what I was looking for and I told him a small mom-and-pop restaurant and he told me he had one for rent. It took us two weeks to sign the lease to West Indian Kitchen Restaurant.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road to getting to the restaurant was not smooth at all. When we first started searching, the rental fees were so high that we decided to put it off until we find one that was affordable. When we found where we are presently located, we had to do an entire over the hall to make it what it is today.

The interior work, creativity, and designs were done by our daughter, while my husband and I worked in the kitchen area making sure that all of the equipment was up to date. As we got closer to opening the restaurant, or so we thought, we found out that we needed to bring it into compliance with the City of Jacksonville ordinances, the Health Department, and the Fire Marshal. It took us several months to bring it up to code in order to safely operate it.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Both, my husband and I are retired law enforcement officers who decided to open our own business upon retiring. We decided to follow in the steps of our parents. In the 1970s, my in-law owned a restaurant in St. Thomas, VI named West Indian Kitchen and my mother was a cook. It was from her, that I learned to cook.

We own a food concession trailer and a restaurant named “West Indian Kitchen”

We cook the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rican foods with some other Caribbean Islands cuisine.

We specialize in Caribbean/Spanish food. Our best sellers are Oxtails, Curry Goat, and Beef Empanadas (Pa-te).

We are known for our excellent customer service and savory food!

We are proud of how our work ethics and dedication took us from not only owning and managing a food concession trailer but also owning our first restaurant.

We cook from our heart and soul! We don’t believe in skimping on necessary ingredients which can jeopardize the integrity and quality of the food you’re preparing.

What does success mean to you?
How we define success is when you’re passionate about something and applying the necessities to make sure that the turnout is pleasing. Making sure that our palates and our customer’s palates are satisfied through flavors.

Seeing smiles, receiving positive feedback, and being told that we should move to a bigger space is quite satisfying.

Success is not always about money, it’s about customer service and making our customers’ experience one that would have them return to your establishment.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Lucia Stridiron, Bill Stridiron, and Toni Stridiron

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