Courtesy Style Weekly

Courtesy Style Weekly

Dear Friends and Family,

As a little girl growing up in Jamaica, I would watch my mother take very simple, cheap ingredients and, using only a small coal stove, draw the most incredible flavors out of them–flavors so rich you just had to lick your fingers!

Those were my first memory of food–good food. It is also what has inspired me to set out on this journey.

After learning all I could about the restaurant industry in  Brooklyn, New York, I made it my mission to bring the food and spirit of Jamaica to Richmond. In 1994, with my mother by my side guiding me and setting the standard, I opened Jamaica House on VCU’s Monroe Park Campus.

In 2007, I expanded my concept south of the river when I opened Carena’s Jamaican Grille on Midlothian Turnpike.

Though we’ve had some major obstacles to overcome (namely a complete building overhaul that forced us to close for six months in 2013 and a small kitchen fire several months later) we’ve persevered–all thanks to loyal customers and fans like you, who have become a sort of extended family over the years.

It’s your love, encouragement and support that keep us going. You’re the reason we do what we do every day. We are thankful you’ve joined us on this journey.

We aim to have a fun, casual place where everyone feels at home. So c’mon in, eat, drink and relax. In Jamaica it’s the law!

Walk good,

Carena Ives