Taste of Jamaica is closing its doors, but owner Raymond Thomas doesn’t see that as a failure.
The fusion restaurant, offering a mixture of Jamaican and Newfoundland cuisine, opened on Broadway in Corner Brook in the fall of 2015.
A Twitter post Friday said the restaurant had been sold and will close at the end of the month.
“We did everything that we could,” said Thomas. “I came in and we put 100 per cent in there. We gave it a go.”
Unfortunately, local support for the product just wasn’t there to continue justifying it.
Thomas said about 28 per cent of the restaurant’s business came from locals with tourists making up 72 per cent.
It’s that tourist market that Thomas sees success in.
“That for me is validation of what we tried to do here.”
And that is what motivates him to continue.
Thomas said Taste of Jamaica will now focus on its line of Newfoundland and Jamaican fusion products — dressings, seasonings and glazes.
“That would not have come about if not for the restaurant,” he said.
Sold online, Thomas said the tourist market has a high affinity for the products.
“We’re going to focus more on developing that for the commercial market rather than stay in the restaurant market in Corner Brook.”
He said there is a plan to open another Taste of Jamaica restaurant, just not in Corner Brook and both aspects of the business will be moved. He wouldn't say where the new location is.
Taste of Jamaica had been leasing the space it occupied and has sold the restaurant configuration.