STIR IT UP: Jamaican Sisters Establish ‘Dutch Pot’ Restaurant Chain

Author  DAWN A. DAVIS

Nineteen years ago, Jamaican-born sisters Cherry Marshall and Melony Gregory took a leap of faith. 

dutch potWith no entrepreneurial experience, but filled with determination and the talent for cooking tasty, authentic Jamaican food, they opened a restaurant in Florida.

Ground for the first “The Dutch Pot Jamaican Restaurant” was broken in the heart of the Caribbean community in Fort Lauderdale.

As a testament to their tenacious spirit and service to the community, Dutch Pot has grown to eight restaurants across South Florida, with its flagship location in Plantation set to offer the popular “Uber Eats” delivery food service.

Coming from humble beginnings in Manchester, Jamaica, the sisters migrated to Florida in 1986 and, like most Caribbean immigrants, worked hard to become productive members of their community. But they hungered to create something of their own. They wanted to do more than work for other people.

“It was the joy of cooking and pleasing people by exciting their taste buds,” according to Marshall, that inspired them to open the restaurant.

“Our grandmother is the one who taught us how to cook, and we were always intrigued by the Dutch Pot she had,” added Gregory. “So, we named the restaurant after this very iconic and popular Jamaican cooking pot.”

PRIORITY

The sisters maintain that they are setting a high bar for others to follow, particularly when it comes to customer service. They never forget why they are in business and strive hard to give their clients what they want. It was from constant communication with patrons that led them to add drive-through service at their locations. According to Marshall and Gregory, Dutch Pot was the first Jamaican eatery to offer the that feature.

“We have always put our customers first,” explained Marshall, “and that is why our biggest challenge is having employees catch the vision of our business, and being able to carry out the vision, which is maintaining exceptional customer service - our number one priority!”

Marshall and Gregory are proud of how far they’ve come. Besides the restaurant locations, the sisters have created a hub, a distribution center, called The Commissary, where their food products go through. This is where food is prepared, seasoned, packaged and distributed to all the restaurants to maintain quality control and consistency.

Training of corporate and food service staff is also a significant part of the restaurant chain’s operation. The large Fort Lauderdale-based Corporate Office and Orientation Centre is the central thread pushing the owners’ focus on customer satisfaction.

It trains administrative personnel as well as food service staff. New employees receive instruction leading to certification in food preparation and customer service.

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