In 2002, Richard and Mellissa Smith opened Island Delight in Montgomery, AL. The restaurant specializes in unique Jamaican dishes like their signature Oxtails, Curry Goat, and Jerk Chicken. The Smith’s decision to start a restaurant was inspired by friends and family love of their Jamaican dishes. At a Christmas party one year hosted by the owners, one of their friends, a retired general, pulled Mr. Smith to the side and asked if they ever considered opening a restaurant. The couple did some inquiring about a location on Airbase Boulevard in Montgomery, contacted the SBDC at Alabama State University for technical assistance, and 15 years later now have a thriving successful business. The restaurant has become a popular place for military personnel stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base, local residents and tourist visiting the city.
The Smiths are scheduled to open a second location in the Downtown Montgomery area. Island Delight has flourished as a business growing tremendously in sales, staff, and customers over the years. This business currently has a total of 3 employees and is expected to increase to 20 by September. The venue has become too small and their customer capacity requires additional parking and space. Customers are also requesting longer operating hours to provide a more family-oriented environment with great food and atmosphere.
ASU SBDC has played an instrumental role in helping the business succeed over the years. “In 2002 when we decided to open our restaurant, the SBDC at ASU was very instrumental in helping us to get a business plan together and setting us on the right path. When we decided to expand I was excited yet very nervous so I turned to the SBDC at ASU again for guidance. Mrs. Andrea Rogers Mosley took the time out to address my fears and gave me vital information on how to avoid certain pitfalls. I left her office more educated and more confident. The SBDC at ASU provides vital services that I believe will help small businesses to succeed”, states Mrs. Smith.
Recently, Mrs. Mosley worked with the city planning department to resolve a code issue that was affecting the company’s business development plans for their second location. The issue was successfully resolved and the new location is scheduled to launch during August or September 2017.