Celebrating Our Story

THE WEE KLY GLEANER | FEBRU ARY 16 - FEBRUARY 22, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | I37 Black History Month. For the Best Southern Comfort - Jamaican Style, a visit to Kool Runnings is a must! Destination Kool Runnings is family owned and operated that put new meaning to classic Jamaican style dishes such as Jerk Chicken, Rasta Pasta and old favourites such as; Curried Goat and Oxtail. Vegetarian, Seafood, Poultry, Beef and Goat . Centrally located in Peachtree Corners, Ga., not only do we offer meals which are, pleasing to the palette, but also a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, with televisions and tasteful background music. We have live music every Saturday night & at Brunch on Sundays. We are now “Shaking things up” with a FULL BAR, serving our signature Jamaican Rum Punch, Pina Colada, Margaritas, Jamaican Rum & Coke (Appleton), White Rum & Ting (Wray & Nephew), Red Stripe Beer, other imports, locals and much more. Lester Hinds/Contributor A VISIT to Atlanta, Georgia, is not complete unless the vis- itor takes the time to eat at Kool Runnings restaurant where ‘Southern Comfort meets Jamaican Style’ cuisine. Kool Runnings Restaurant is the brainchild of Tony Reid, a Kingston College alumnus and former Jamaican businessman. After migrating to Atlanta in July 1993 with his wife Marsha and children, Tony was casting around for a business venture when he was encouraged by ErnestWong, a restaurateur, to go into the restaurant business. Tony had no restaurant experience but was motivated to do this by his old friend Mr Wong. His challenge to Tony was, “You ran a successful pharmacy, right? Were you a pharmacist? The rest is history… In 1994, joined by his brother-in-law Parry Hinds, he opened Kool Runnings on Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain, where it served not only the metro Atlanta area but residents from neigh- bouring states. Kool Runnings has had many big breaks but the ones which created the biggest impact was the 1996 Summer Olympics that was held in Atlanta, cou- pled with one of the biggest carnivals which occurred that same summer. This was when Kool Runnings was placed on the map, less than two years after opening up! BIGGEST CHALLENGE He says his biggest business chal- lenge in opening the restaurant was that he is not a chef or cook and, therefore, lacked expertise in that area. He ulti- mately had to rely heavily on the staff. The restaurant remained in its orig- inal location for the next 19 years, but was forced to relocate because of so- cio-economic challenges. In 2013, Kool Runnings relocated to Peachtree Corner – its current location. He says thanks to its loyal and dedi- cated customers, Kool Runnings did not “skip a beat” and that was when he realised that it is a “brand”. His biggest fear is failure, but that is what also what keeps him going. He works anywhere from 10-12 hours each day and says,“It takes hard work, passion, patience and drive to make it in this industry.” Tony considers his ability to cope with change especially during difficult times among the reasons for his suc- cess. He believes change is the most disruptive force in life, but says changes consistently occur, and it is the most valuable tool for broadening the scope of one’s intelligence. Kool Runnings, the epicentre of the community, supports numerous organ- isations and local charities. “We delight our diners with the freshest, most truly authentic, clas- sic Jamaican home-style dishes. We put a new meaning to ‘comfort food’, healthy, satisfying, affordable and sim- ply delicious. We are the home of ‘THE BEST JERK CHICKEN & RASTA PASTA’in Atlanta. Our eclectic cuisine is influ- enced by our many diverse cultures. We serve vegetarian, seafood, poultry, beef and goat,” said Tony. Centrally located in Peachtree Corners, Ga, the restaurant not only offers meals which are pleasing to the palate, but also a relaxed, friendly at- mosphere, with televisions and taste- ful background music. Live music is featured every Saturday night and at Brunch on Sundays. “We are now ‘shaking things up’ with a full bar, serving our signature Jamaican Rum Punch, Pina Colada, Margaritas, Jamaican Rum & Coke (Appleton), White Rum & Ting (Wray & Nephew), Red Stripe Beer, other im- ports, locals and much more,” he said. Kool Runnings is a family-owned and operated business. Kool Runnings – a blend of Southern comfort and J’can style Neil Armstrong/Contributor JAMAICAN-CANADIAN SYLVANUS Thompson retired from his role as associate director with Toronto Public Health (TPH) at the begin- ning of 2021. “After doing almost 50 years in public health, after a while you get the sense that you have made a contribution and there is not much more that you can do in that specific field,” says Thompson. Having worked in public health for 44 years – 24 in Jamaica and 20 in Canada – he had plans to retire in early 2020 but there were develop- ments including potential industrial action, and the coronavirus pan- demic, which delayed his decision. “Unfortunately, COVID didn’t go, but I’d made up my mind. I thought, ‘well, I had delayed it long enough’. I thought I did enough during that delay period,”Thompson said. He had been responsible for de- veloping the COVID guidelines for the restaurant, bar and food ser- vice industry, and was in charge of the Toronto Public Health essential services response team for healthy environments (the inspectorate). During his time at TPH, he was also involved with a seroprevalence Jamaican- Canadian public health leader retires PLEASE SEE LEADER, 38 BLACK H ISTORY MONTH FEATURE FEBRUARY 16 - MARCH 15, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | CELEBRATING OUR STORY - AWEEKLY GLEANER BL ACK HIST RY FEATURE