Jerome, “J” of J’s Simply Soul, started out as an individual street vendor shortly after receiving positive feedback when he participated in a church cooking event in March of 2013. He understood that God was giving him the strength to do what his heart had been yearning to do. Unsure how to get started Jerome purchased a small smoker and began his journey. Every Saturday he loaded the smoker in his work van going to random destinations. Being a native Detroiter, he did not know much about Georgia’s southern culture. He just knew he loved to cook and wanted to share his love for cooking and what his Grandma “Thelma” taught him when he was just a child.
Jerome, a Waterproofer by trade, and his wife, Michelle, relocated to Georgia in 2008. Not able to find work in his profession he found work as a cable installer giving him the opportunity to learn how to maneuver throughout the state. He familiarized himself with his surroundings and started strategizing where he could set up his pop-up shop.
There was a lot of rejection. Friends would suggest places he could set up shop, but those too were short lived. Jerome then sought the advice of two former street vendors who had since acquired their own restaurants. They both gave him great advice – never give up.
The husband and wife dual landed in Cartersville where they set up their tents and smokers every Saturday rain or shine, until moving into their own brick and mortar building in June 2014. J’s started from humble beginnings and remains humble today, cooking their homemade sides and smoking their meats with love and dedication.