BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
The key to running a successful business is no secret, when you know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish. For many restaurants in the GTA, they have thrived on the multiculturalism of the communities, building a directory of multiethnic places where citizens can grab a bite to eat and experience all the flavors of the world.
Gary Macintosh immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1976. As a business minded individual and never one to turn down a great opportunity, he decided to open up his very own Jamaican Jerk restaurant in 1998, located in the heart of Brampton. The city was nothing compared to what it is today and he saw the opportunity to start up a quality Jamaican style Jerk restaurant, where residents could come and enjoy a taste of the Caribbean cuisine that he grew up with back home in Kingston. For seventeen years Gary has had the opportunity to serve the community with great tasting Jamaican cuisine from recipes that he formulated and refined himself to produce appetizing and delicious meals that has brought him a steady flow of hungry customers, always venturing back for more.
Gary accredits his success to his ability to think outside of the box and implement new ways of delivering a satisfying home cooked meal. Portland Jerk is known for their flavorful, tasty and delicious jerk recipes. Located at 9025 Torbram Road in Brampton they have established an unstoppable force in developing quality Jamaican food for everyone to enjoy in the community. If you head on over there at any given time of the day, you are sure to find yourself standing in a lineup of people anxious for a container of that good old fashioned Jamaican comfort food.
Every morning bright and early his meticulous and dedicated kitchen staff come in to prepare the food for the day. His meats are washed, cleaned, seasoned and marinated and the meals are prepared fresh everyday to accommodate all of their customers for the day. Their convenient location makes it easy for students and businesses in the area to pop in for a bite to eat. Many of their customers don’t mind coming out of the way either, coming from Mississauga, Toronto, Ajax and even Oshawa for their food.
At Portland Jerk they bring Jamaica to you! Their thriving and vibrant atmosphere is filled with good vibes only. The aroma of the food has you salivating as you walk in the door and while you might come there for lunch, you could find yourself taking home dinner for the family. With so many options to choose from, there’s a chance you might have to sample a little bit of everything for the fully loaded experience of the flavors and tastes from Jamaica.
Gary is most thankful for his good fortune, hard work and dedication into establishing his restaurant, very pleased with the accomplishments that he has achieved over the years. Working in the restaurant business can be very competitive, but if you know what you’re doing and you’re doing it right there isn’t anything that you can’t accomplish! Since he started up the business, he has made sure to prepare himself and be ready for any challenge that might come his way.
When you own a small business, it is important to surround yourself with sincere and hard working individuals, people that you can trust to do the job in your absence. For many small businesses in the GTA this is an ongoing concern, however at Portland Jerk, Gary has been lucky to have a few great people who help to manage his business without fail.
Sharmaine Francis-Paul started working at Portland Jerk at the age of seventeen while she was still a student in High School. Most days after school she would find herself at the restaurant, where she held a part-time job, learning about the business and how to prepare and cook all of the Portland Jerk delicacies. Born in Guyana, she had experienced the flavors of Caribbean style cooking and while working for Gary at Portland Jerk she discovered a few new flavors to add to her resume. Years later, Sharmaine is now managing Portland Jerk restaurant, full-time implementing the same style of cooking and customer service that Gary has conditioned his customers with for years. Looking to head off on new ventures, Gary has asked Sharmaine to take over the restaurant, to continue to serve the community the way she has done over the years. Sharmaine has been more than happy to rise to the challenge, never thinking that someday she would own a small business. Over the years, working so closely with Gary and the other employees, they have come together and made it a family business, where everyone feels right at home.
Portland Jerk was constructed on a solid foundation, with staff that understands the needs and wants of the community to be able to serve up the best experience possible when they come to the restaurant. Their delicious and appetizing menu includes Jamaican favorites like classic Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork, Stew Beef, Stew Chicken, Curry Goat, Curry Chicken, as well as Oxtail served up with peas and rice and a side of coleslaw. They serve goat, chicken, or jerk pork roti’s alongside a veggie option and soup of the day. At Portland Jerk there is a little something for everyone that is sure to satisfy your cravings. They take extra care to ensure the quality of their food is up to par and the food is prepared with only the finest ingredients. They cater to everyone, accommodating the needs of their customers and always offering up service with a smile.
Over the years they have been very fortunate to gain the momentum to continue to build and grow their business with the City of Brampton. They have welcomed competition and always stayed positive in regards to staying true to the direction Gary envisioned when he established the business seventeen years ago.
If you are looking for great tasting and quality home cooked meals, head on down to Portland Jerk today! They are located in Brampton on the corner of Torbram and Queen and always ready to fix you a tasty and delectable meal!