West Chester, PA - Miss Winnie’s is the latest restaurant to join the West Chester food scene. Specializing in Jamaican cuisine the menu includes favorites like jerk chicken, Jerk Pork, fried plantains, and more. Prices range from $3 for a patty to $14.25 for the Curry Goat Platter special served only Friday and Saturday evenings. Open Monday through Saturday 11am-7pm the restaurant is mostly a carryout destination for lunch and dinner with a few tables for a casual self serve dining experience.
Owned by the father-son duo Bert and Nick Johnston, the inspiration came from Bert’s Jamaican heritage. Born and raised in Jamaica until the age of 15, Bert learned to cook from his mother, Miss Winnie, which is where the restaurant gets its name. The two explain, Miss Winnie, is a motherly figure not only to the family but also to friends and even strangers here and in Jamaica. Nick explains, “she always makes people feel welcome and part of the family, that’s the same atmosphere we want the restaurant to portray.”
While Bert always cooked it wasn’t until the family was looking for catering for their annual Christmas party over ten years ago when Bert decided to cook the food himself. He figured he could do just as good of a job so he cooked up the family favorite jerk chicken. It was a hit and the reason many people look forward to attending their Christmas party still to this day. As luck would have it Bert’s career as an engineer came to a pivot point. His project with HP came to an end and he was given the choice to hop on a new project or retire and start his dream of opening a restaurant. He chose the latter, partnering with his wife Mary Anne and son Nick who graduated a few years ago.
Although Nick’s education is in sports management he always had an entrepreneurial spirit thanks to Mary Anne (His Mother) and Grandma Mary (Mary Anne’ Mother) who are two pure hearted entrepreneurial spirits. Nick worked very closely with Mary Anne for the past two years at one of her companies soaking in everything like a sponge. The two decided that now was the time to make this dream happen and after looking at various areas settled on their West Chester location because they knew they could bring a unique offering to the restaurant scene.