The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of millions of people across the globe, but not all of those differences turned out to be bad.
Abigail Owens of England was hit hard by the lockdowns in her area. As a self-employed dental nurse, her industry was shut down, and she wasn’t eligible for furlough pay.
Finding herself with only £15 (about $20) in the world, Abbie decided to cook herself a nice meal. She purchased ingredients for a “jerk chicken munch box” and shared the resulting dinner on social media.
A hungry friend asked if he could purchase one, and needing the cash, Abbie said yes. Next thing she knew, other people were sending messages asking if they could buy her cooking, too!
“I didn’t know what to do or how I was going to manage,” she said. “I didn’t have any money and I was not in the best place in the world, but I have always loved cooking from when my nana used to teach me.”
Realizing she was onto something big, Abbie hunted through her flat and turned out every purse and pocket to scrounge up enough cash to buy more ingredients. She then turned to YouTube for more recipes, focusing on Caribbean food similar to the popular jerk chicken she started with.
Her fans loved everything she made! Before long, she was cooking dozens of meals every day from her home kitchen and dreaming of a bigger venture. She took a risk and used her meager savings to rent space in a nearby cafe, and by November 2020, she was finally able to afford a spot at Hyde Market.
These days, Abbie works long hours at her restaurant, but she enjoys every moment of it.
“It’s a small community here at the market, but the people are nice,” she said. “Everyone has been really supportive.”
The Jerk Shop’s most popular dish is curried goat and jerk chicken with steamed veggies and rice. It’s open six days a week, and Abbie almost always sells out by the end of the day!
Abbie’s homemade BBQ sauce is another big hit! After so much success, she’s even looking to expand to a new location. For this daring entrepreneur, the pandemic lockdowns turned out to be exactly what she needed for a life-changing new adventure.
“I never in my wildest dreams expected this. I was only doing it in my kitchen to get through lockdown,” she said. “It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
We don’t know about you, but Abbie’s food is making us very hungry. It’s so incredible to see someone make lemonade out of lemons in such a dramatic way!
Share this story to congratulate Abbie on her huge success.
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