Family run Caribbean ‘food experience’ business Natty’s Jerk Shack, asks for Crowdfunder support

Natty’s are a family run Caribbean ‘food experience’ business. The reason they call it a food experience is that they really believe it’s their duty to spread the tastes, culture and love of the Caribbean with everyone by creating an extensive sensory approach in the delivery and presentation of the food, to conjure an atmosphere filled with rich exciting flavours, combined with music and conversation to transport you to the destinations of warm tropical climates, something which Natty’s know they can deliver, Carry on reading below to see what they have to say about this

Our business started in Portsmouth in the spring of 2019 and through the support of the community, Natty’s grew in popularity enabling us to expand. The initial mobile ‘starter home’, trading from a 3×3 meter gazebo on our street food events made way for us to jump over the threshold into a vintage van, alongside establishing a small kitchen vending spot in Southsea’s exclusive food court, The Outside-In.

Unfortunately, as it did to all, the pandemic struck which forced the food court to close. This untimely situation fuelled the decision to move our business into the family home to operate as a takeaway. To be really honest, the transition into these circumstances were primarily governed by surviving the sudden financial turbulence we faced in order to continue paying bills more than the desire to solely operate as a takeaway and delivery service. The continued support received from customers during this period was astounding. It enabled us to maintain the few employees we had recruited over the period to support the course the business had now taken. The positive communication received from customers who continued to order made us feel our intent and purpose was a little more than just providing a takeaway food service. With the ongoing demand, we had now outgrown our residence at home and began searching for a more suitable purpose-built commercial kitchen to keep working from.  After months of potential viewings and dwindling hopes, the ideal offer of a kitchen arose in a location in one of Southsea’s main food and drink highways on Albert Road. Having jumped at the opportunity, the intention was to rebuild our street food foundation and to grow this alongside the existing host business opposed to being an adjunct presence. Facing certain limitations at this location, unfortunately, the decision was made to leave the premises prematurely, once again leaving us in the search for something more in tune with our initial desires for the business.

What’s the plan? What’s next?

We have been searching high and low for properties with intent to remain in Southsea. On this occasion, the number one rule we have chosen to abide by is not to jump at the first offering of location that we come across (which is easier said than done)! The understanding is knowing that we need somewhere that suits what we are as a business, a brand and as a family.  Viewings of multiple premises including restaurants, warehouses, even the consideration of a boat have left us feeling their suitability was not for us at this moment in time. Now, we have found somewhere on the horizon…

So think BOXPARK; Shoreditch, Brixton, Croydon. Now with that in mind, think of a Boxpark for one. We have been fortunate enough to have gained access to an area of land in Portsmouth, close to the heart of Southsea, within footfall of Guildhall Square, directly opposite Portsmouth and Southsea Station, which stands a semi-converted shipping container currently positioned on a site almost ready to rock and roll!

This setting is more in the direction of our vibe for securing a permanent spot for the street food style concept we have envisioned. Our plans include installing decking as terrain for the foundation to support outdoor seating, creating a shelter from the elements and securing a temperate environment with heat lamps and warm throws for the chilly evenings, all of this intertwined with additional characteristic flora in the form of mature tropical trees. With all this in tow, our aim is to create an ambience akin to that of a spot of Caribbean nightlife on the beach. All that will be missing is the sand, therefore we plan on trucking in 10 tonnes of sand every month…Only joking; now that’s going too far!!!

Crowdfunder page- https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/nattys-jerk-southsea

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