Nettie Mitchell has opened her own Jamaican-style restaurant, Choices, in the Canal Street shopping center in Graniteville. The casual neighborhood venue offers a variety of Caribbean and American dishes. Mitchell first realized there was a niche waiting to be filled by ethnic food in the area when she invited fronds and family to visit and they couldn’t find diverse food choice options. “If we can’t find the food, nobody’s happy,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell was a business major in college and delayed opening her own restaurant in order to return to school and gain culinary experience for the business. Choices opened in early 2018. Mitchell’s husband Jerry is from Jamaica and does most of the cooking in the restaurant.
The restaurant offers many food options, as its name suggests. The menu includes oxtails served with island rice and peas, garlic shrimp sautéed with onions and peppers, one of diners’ favorite dishes, and curry chicken stewed with spices, herbs, and potatoes in a yellow curry sauce. Mitchell’s favorites are the curry goat and escovitch fish, but many of her customers especially rave about the coco bread, which is warm, sweet, soft, and buttery, she said. Choices also carries some Jamaican products such as the tropical fruit ackee and a variety of Jamaican sodas.
According to Mitchell, one of the challenges for Choices is finding suppliers to provide ingredients for its dishes. As a Caribbean restaurant, Choices is unusual for Graniteville, and like other small business owners, Mitchell depends on social media to spread the word about her restaurant.
Mitchell already has big plans for Choices, hoping to grow the sit-down dining area by expanding into one of the vacant spaces in the strip mall. She would also like to operate a food truck in order to be more versatile and allow more people to experience Choices’ cuisine.
“We recommend calling ahead because all of our stuff is cooked to order,” Mitchell said.
Image Courtesy: Choices Facebook Page