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‘A Taste of Jamaica’ brings new flavor to Wausau

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - A unique, new restaurant in Wausau is giving the community ‘A Taste of Jamaica, it opened just weeks ago inside the UW-Stevens Point at Wausau campus admissions building.

“My dream has always been to open a restaurant,” A Taste of Jamaica owner Janice Watson said. “I’m excited for the folks that are coming in, and a lot of people that are coming in have never tried the food before.”

Watson moved to Wausau from Massachusetts and wanted to have something new for Central Wisconsin.

“Just to have diverse food, more diverse food in our community because our community is becoming more diverse,” Watson said.

Watson acquired the space at the university after winning a contest to help community start-up businesses.

She serves traditional Jamaican cuisine like jerk chicken, curried goat, and ribs. The dishes so far have been a hit for students.

“There’s not really this whole Jamaican feel in Wausau already and I live in Merrill actually and they don’t really have a whole lot of cultural food at all so anytime I can get my hands on something else I love it,” UWSP-Wausau Senior Sierra Smith said.

For kitchen staff, working at A Taste of Jamaica is unlike any other business. “Being one of the small few of a woman owned business as well as a black owned business in Wausau doing traditional foods I think is huge,” Sous-Chef Tyrese Cottrell said.

Watson has been cooking for her family since she was 6-years-old. She hopes the restaurant will be a steppingstone for a long career, while keeping her family proud.

“It brings me back to when my grandmother was standing over me and telling me how to prepare the meals, just how proud she would be of me right now,” Watson said.

A Taste of Jamaica is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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