New Hamlet eatery promises food ‘cooked with a whole lotta love’

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

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HAMLET — It’s only a restaurant, but it’s an important one for the city of Hamlet’s main thoroughfare.

Nearly two dozen people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Jones on Main The Country Kitchen on a beautiful sunny Thursday morning in Hamlet. The weather was in stark contrast to the first two attempts to schedule the ribbon-cutting, as snow and ice pelted the area.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Yvette Jones, with the oversized scissors, handles the actual cutting of the ribbon while daughter Isha Bangura and her daughter, Zayda Ledbetter, 5, look on.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Yvette Jones, with the oversized scissors, handles the actual cutting of the ribbon while daughter Isha Bangura and her daughter, Zayda Ledbetter, 5, look on.

“It’s a beautiful day for a ribbon-cutting,” said Emily Tucker, Richmond County Chamber of Commerce president.

Of course, speaking wasn’t at the top of most attendees’ minds — and Tucker knew it.

“I know y’all are hungry and y’all smell food,” Tucker quipped.

And there was plenty of that — homestyle  macaroni and cheese, biscuits, fried chicken, collard greens, barbecue ribs “and our world famous cornbread fritters,” exclaimed the ribbon-cutting program.

No one disagreed. After brief remarks by County Commissioner John Garner and Brian Baucom, chamber board chairman, the crowd stepped outside the former Cafe on Main onto the sidewalk for the actual ribbon-cutting. It went off without a hitch, attended by Jones on Main owner Yvette Jones, her daughter Isha Bangura and her daughter as well, 5-year-old Zayda Ledbetter.

Local dignitaries included Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless and his wife Linda, Councilman Johnathan Buie, Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr. as well as Chuck McShane, newly hired downtown coordinator for the city of Hamlet.

Garner, a fellow Hamlet business owner, thanked Jones “for choosing Hamlet” and its Main Street.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Yvette Jones is congratulated by Richmond County Commissioner John Garner, a fellow Hamlet business owner.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Yvette Jones is congratulated by Richmond County Commissioner John Garner, a fellow Hamlet business owner.

“I think you made a good decision,” Garner said.

Garner said life depends on not only making good choices, but also timing.

“I think your timing was great,” Garner said.

Jones, who previously operated The Country Kitchen in Rockingham, learned of the business opportunity shortly after Cafe on Main owner Amy Guinn decided to shut down in December. Guinn, a member of the chamber’s board of directors, was there Thursday and was the first person to begin clapping after the ribbon had been cut.

Jones called Guinn “my new friend” and expression gratitude for her help during the transition. the restaurant has already celebrated a soft opening despite the weather issues.

Bayless, for one, said Jones stepped in exactly when and where the city needed help.

“This is truly a momentous occasion for the city of Hamlet,” Bayless said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Yvette Jones, daughter Isha Bangura and 5-year-old Zayda Ledbetter enjoy a moment together before the ribbon-cutting.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Yvette Jones, daughter Isha Bangura and 5-year-old Zayda Ledbetter enjoy a moment together before the ribbon-cutting.

For her part, Jones recalled a recent customer who sat down and was emotionally choked up after only a few bites. The customer, a woman, requested Jones to come see her. Jones left her spot in the kitchen to see what was wrong.

Nothing, as it turned out.

“She said ‘I just wanted to tell you, as I was eating your food, it reminded me so much of my grandma’s cooking. It’s been a long time since I tasted food like this,'” Jones said.

Then Jones addressed the crowd: “The food, I promise you, is cooked with a whole lotta love.”

The kitchen staff has more than 60 years of cooking experience, and “they know how to prepare gold old-fashion country food,” Jones said.

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News

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