Nestled on the corner of Terrace and Salaignac Street, The Spicy Belly is a newly opened restaurant that brings a new twist on cuisine to Manayunk -- Jamaican and Korean. Last week, we had the pleasure of meeting one of the two owners of The Spicy Belly, Jimmy Mills. We had an extensive conversation about the steps, sacrifices, and hard work he has implemented throughout his life in order to turn his dream into a reality. Jimmy's dedication to his passion reflects on every aspect of his business. From his innovative cuisine infusion, to the core values his business holds, he is able to deliver a traditional vibe to a young generation and thriving community.
How long has The Spicy Belly been open for?
"This is our 6th official week open."
How did the unique "Korean & Jamaican" infusion come about?
"Funny story– my mother is from South Korea and my father is Jamaican. We are first generation Americans. The cuisine met and grew within my family. Instead of turkey for Thanksgiving, we had Asian stir fry and jerk chicken. I was always watching my mother cook in the kitchen, and my father was a chef in Jamaica. He made everything from scratch, and we take pride in that here at The Spicy Belly. All of our marinades and recipes are made strictly from scratch, just like my father has done. Most people haven't had the cuisine experience we had, so I was passionate about sharing it with other people."
What did you do before opening up The Spicy Belly?
"I was a chef... I am originally from New York where my uncle owned a Jamaican restaurant."
What is the most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur?
"Looking around and seeing all of your hard work and costs come together. I love seeing the things people said couldn't happen, happen successfully."
What is your favorite menu item?
"The Mo-Bay Bimbap– it's Korean. It's shortened for Montigo Bay. It's rice and peas, a choice of your protein, four or five veggies, and a sunny side egg on top with sesame seeds. Mix it all together and it comes out one of the truest country meals you can get well refined."
What are some of your favorite things to do in Manayunk?
"I take advantage of parks and events such as street festivals. I love the community feel of this neighborhood– everybody does their part."
Where is your favorite place to eat in Manayunk that is not The Spicy Belly.
What is the biggest challenge you face while starting your business?
"Getting definite and guarantees and them not working out because of miscellaneous reasons. The little things– nothing is ever guaranteed until the work is finished."
Do you see yourself expanding?
"Yes, absolutely. East Falls looks like a great area. There are a lot of great up-and-coming areas around Manayunk I plan to look further into."
Overall, the environment of the restaurant is excellent. Stop by and enjoy a new and unique cuisine and cold drink at The Spicy Belly!
Visit the Manayunk Development Corporation Contact page for full contact information.
Office: 4312 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127