As Jimmy sat there eating breakfast, he overheard that restaurant was for sale and he knew NOW was the moment! Previous experience in restaurant management had prepared him for this opportunity. Jimmy Shifflett and his wife Angie bought the business in 2019 from Randy Newland and fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning a restaurant!
The number one question he got when he bought the business was “So are you going to change the chicken recipe and screw this place up?”
NO is the answer I got from Jimmy, “Those 50-year-old recipes should be kept in a safe. Regular customers are important at Southern Kitchen, and I understand they come here because they have their favorite menu items, and I will never change those or take them away. We have people who eat several meals a day with us and are like family.”
However, the one place where Jimmy is willing to make changes is when it comes to upgrading to real ingredients over processed. Two changes have brought a lot of praise from diners, the real potato used in their mashed potatoes and real sweet tea brewed and sugared inhouse vs. premade from a factory kitchen.
New specials like pork loin, meatloaf, and down-home dishes have been very well received. Seafood night Friday nights includes steam spiced shrimp, lobster tails and other favorites. Southern Kitchen strives to deliver a beach restaurant quality seafood night that you must try to believe!
Many people are also surprised that Southern Kitchen has an event space that can seat from 75-100 people in the downstairs YES there is catering downstairs. Catering off premises is also available. Perhaps a food truck maybe on the way next, Southern Kitchen dining maybe going on the road!
When he bought the place, 32 people where employed and now they are up to 50 so the team has grown. This was done by offering pay raises, more flexible schedules, and employee empowerment. The employee culture is built around customer service and extending southern hospitality.
Cindy Reamer is very special member of the team of 43 years. She both enjoys sharing her knowledge with other employees and does everything from serving to management. She embodies the friendly southern hospitality culture.
Giving back to the community is important to Jimmy and the staff at Southern Kitchen so working with community organizations is something they do and encourage others to do as well.
It’s really the employees, partnerships and supportive family behind Jimmy that make this dream come true that much sweeter.
Currently Eugene owns and operates Bare Web Design & Marketing, providing advertising, video production and IT services. His work can be seen in various TV commercials, websites and here in the Chimney Rock Chronicle And is cofounder of Broadway Coworking, a shared workspace for individuals and small businesses. He enjoys writing about all the subjects that intrigue him including local business, food, technology and more.