Filed Under:  Business, Entrepreneurship, Local, News

In spite of two disasters, couple remains ‘jazzed’ about business

6th June 2011   ·   0 Comments

New Orleans has proven time and again that you can’t keep a good man or woman down. Nowhere is that more evident than in the resilience and determination displayed by Roddrick and Hope Jones, a young couple who have fought the good fight to open a restaurant after two disasters.

Jazzy Wings, a New Orleans restaurant and catering business, will finally re-open its doors on Thursday, June 9, and celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, June 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the restaurant, located at 3328 LaSalle Street, just across from the old Flint Goodridge Hospital.

This will mark the company’s third grand opening and second since Hurricane Katrina.

The original opening was in the summer of 2004. Like many businesses in New Orleans, Jazzy Wings was destroyed by Hurri­cane Katrina in 2005 and wouldn’t reopen until June of 2007.

A fire on a frigid February morning in 2010 would close the business again.

Now, almost a year and a half later, owners Roddrick and Hope Jones are poised to bring their business back once again. The event will feature food from Jazzy Wings’ catering menu, including gumbo, jambalaya and different varieties of wings. Musical entertainment will be provided by Jazzmen Brass Band, and local dignitaries will offer remarks.

Jazzy Wings’ story is a love story; a story about perseverance and defying the odds. Roddrick and Hope Jones met in 1997. Roddrick is a New Orleans native and St. Augustine High School graduate. Hope had come here from her hometown of Oklahoma City to attend school at Xavier University. They married on January 1, 2000. Hope says that throughout their courtship they talked about owning a business together. They would initially live in Atlanta and Roddrick says it was a Friday night ritual to get some Buffalo Wings and just chill out at home. Hope takes it one further.

“Actually, we ate wings a lot more than just on Friday nights,” she said. “We love wings!” But, loving wings and operating a wing business are two different things, especially for two people with professional careers and children.

Between them, they have six academic degrees. After graduating from Xavier, Hope earned a B.S. in nursing from LSU and a master’s degree from Tulane University. Roddrick has a BS in Business, a Masters in Business Management and a Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education.

“Busy careers and two children take up a lot of time. That’s why I resigned from my job,” Roddrick Jones explained. Jones, who was Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Our Lady of Holy Cross College, recently resigned to devote more of his time and energy to the business.

When asked why they started over, they both answered almost simultaneously that it’s because of this city, the people and the community they love. “We love our business, but we see a whole lot more that can come from this down the road,” says Roddrick.

The couple says they want to be more involved in their community. They talked about hosting community events, establishing a scholarship fund, maybe even adopting a school in the future. “I’m not originally from here, but this place gets in your blood,” Hope Jones said recently. “We want to do our part to support our neighbors, our community and New Orleans.”

In addition to gumbo, jambalaya and 12 varieties of baked or fried chicken wings, Jazzy Wings will offer sweet potato fries, fried chicken, fried chicken, fried fish and shrimp, mozzarella stix, and onion rings.

For more information about Jazzy Wings and its services, visit the website at http://www.jazzy­wings.com.

This story originally published in the June 06, 2011 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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