It’s been about a year and a half since we last caught up with Don James and the crew at Jam N Vibez, and a lot has happened since then, not least the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Don isn’t one to rest on his laurels, and despite the hardships felt by all of the food industry during the last few months, Jam N Vibez have been at the heart of their community since the lockdowns began.
“During the pandemic we’ve been giving the Police and NHS 50% off meals, and every other week they can get a free meal,” explained Don, “We’ve been doing lots of charity work too, every day we give 45 meals to local cause Rugby House and have been since the beginning of the pandemic.”
It goes to show that unlike some businesses, Don has done exactly what he set out to do 17 months ago when we last spoke to him, to gel with the community, and give back to local good causes.
“We’re also part of the Police Community Group as well, so they share information with us, and they eat here too!”
As well as being on Foodhub, Just Eat and Deliveroo, Jam N Vibez have taken the leap into their own digital future.
“We decided as the restrictions got worse that more people would be staying at home so we refocused our efforts and decided to create our own app.”
The App, which is available on Android and iOS, gives you a 15% discount, as well as taking advantage of their Free Delivery within 10 miles, or Click and Collect in as soon as 15 minutes.
They have added new dishes to the menu too, bolstering their already strong line up of Caribbean staples like Rice & Peas, Oxtail, Jerk Chicken and Ackee & Saltfish, with new favourites including Pumpkin and Rice, Brown Stew Fish, Pepper Steak, Stuffed Fish and Cow Foot.
They even serve Lobster now on an order-only basis. Give them 15-20 minutes and you’ll have a perfect meal.
As always, the main selling point with Jam N Vibez has always been the fact that everything that they sell is made fresh daily, and it really shows in the quality and taste of their meals. You can be so sure of this, that every night, anything left over is also donated to Rugby House - a hostel in the local area.
“We’ve never been about the money, as long as we can pay our bills, we just love seeing the smiles on customers faces as they know they’re getting good food,” beamed Don. “we’re building a community and people know that we’re approachable and if they need to talk, they know where they can come.”
Don is also a local entrepreneur featured for his cousin Leroy Henry’s new book, about Young Entrepreneurship. “It teaches them about sales, profits etc, as well as being connected through QR code to audio recordings of every page for those who need the extra assistance, as well as further examples and explanations,” Leroy enthused.
“I’m working with Don as an entrepreneur to showcase exactly what an entrepreneur is, and that they come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.”
The other new addition to Jam N Vibez is the resident Guest Celebrity Chef and Internet Sensation, Chef Kano. On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday every week, you can catch Chef Kano making a new speciality dish every single week, which he features on his Instagram account ‘_jointstv_’.
“I started in in top hotels, top restaurants for 3-4 years, and I worked in Germany for a few years. Then I started my own business, and now people book me and I come cook for them at home, as well as these guest spots every week,” laughed Chef Kano.
“It can be anything, literally whatever my brain comes up with that day, it could be lobster tails, gourmet burgers, Hennessy wings, scallops, glazed salmon or prawns.”
But what you can be sure of, is that the food you are getting is top notch in both quality, preparation and execution. Check out the Jam N Vibez App, or get yourself down to 300 Slade Rd, Birmingham B23 7LU, and tell them The Phoenix sent you!