JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Jackson native opened a new restaurant near Jackson State University (JSU) with the goal of uplifting the community.
Carlton Brown was born in Canton, but he grew up in Jackson. The Terry High graduate earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from JSU. Although he and his wife live in Houston now, he said Jackson will always have a special place in his heart.
“It really hit close to home to want to see that area, the area thrive,” he said.
Brown said when he was in town during the pandemic, he noticed there weren’t many food options near Terry Road. He decided to open Hattie’s Chicken and Waffles. The restaurant opened in August 2021 and is named after Brown’s grandmother, who died from COVID-19 last year.
“She was a teacher, so therefore see, she had passion and love for the community. So not only are we as exemplifying her food, but also her passion for others,” Brown explained.
Another reason Brown chose to open a business on Terry Road was to bring jobs to the community. There is a nationwide labor shortage, but Brown said he has been able to find employees.
“It was for a brief moment we had an employee shortage. After we posted, we opened. Once we opened the doors, and everyone knew we were open. We actually got flooded with applications.”
Although the restaurant hasn’t been open long, he said the response from the community has been positive.
“It’s more than a restaurant. It’s a community is a family. You know, those are our core beliefs. I’ve definitely I’ve gotten a lot of support from the locals from the mayor’s office, from City Council, and along from Jackson State’s president.”
The restaurant will be open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.