We had the good fortune of connecting with Krimsey Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Krimsey, have you had any epiphanies during or due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
My big epiphany?….I don’t want to run a restaurant anymore. It’s way more work than anyone could possibly imagine. Only fellow restaurant-owners will ever truly understand. It’s all day, every day. There were definitely lots of positive aspects to being in this business. It’s why I stayed in it so long. I love making new recipes and designing the menus, building meaningful relationships with guests, and giving my employees a safe and happy place to work. My absolute favorite part of the whole process was designing, renovating, and prepping our restaurant space. It brought me so much joy to turn an old worn-out deli in the Valley into the “World’s First Cajun Vegan Restaurant.” And after we opened, I can’t explain how happy it made me every time someone tried our Jambalaya and said “Whoah…I didn’t know vegan could be this good.” That’s why I got into this business–to help re-frame what “vegan” means to those who were curious. We created an environment that was accepting, friendly, and judgment-free for all so that they could come enjoy veganism in all of its delicious glory. We did it. Now, I’m prepared to say goodbye because it’s what’s best for me. I love creating, but I’m not an operator. I need something new to dig my hands into. I will always look back fondly on this time of my life, and am excited about what the future holds next for me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After a year as an Interior Design major at Louisiana State University, I decided that a degree in ID would never make me any money. I grew up pretty poor and had dreams of growing up to be financially “free.” So, I switched my major to Petroleum Engineering even though I loved design and was sad to let it go. At the time, Petroleum Engineering was the highest-paying 4-year degree you could get. I figured that I’d be set for life (cute, right?). Ten years later, I found myself abandoning my successful, budding career as a Facilities Project Manager to drop everything and start over in Los Angeles. I could never find any meaning in what I was doing, and knew there must be something better out there for me. Turns out, money doesn’t solve everything (shocker). When I stopped chasing the money, I freed myself up to search for something to actually fill my soul. That was a life lesson that I’ll never forget, and a wisdom that I refer back to often when I’m not sure which way is my “true north.”
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
This place is the best! Here are my top three picks for “LA Activities” 1.) Santa Monica Beach for some volleyball, cold ocean swimming, and Spikeball. 2.) Griffith Observatory for a bit of light hiking, grass napping, and celestial body viewing. 3.) Weho/Hollywood for rollerblading and people-watching. If possible, catch the “Melrose Trading Post” market at Fair Fax High School on Sundays (currently not happening due to COVID-19).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My life partner, Scott, has been an absolute dream throughout the entire process of me envisioning, preparing, opening, running, and closing the restaurant of my dreams. When you choose to be with someone who owns a restaurant…you’re basically enlisting yourself for some spillover work, too. I will always appreciate Scott for all of the hard work and support he put in on my behalf, even though he didn’t sign up for it.
Scott Ricketts Jess Joy Cheyenne Rain