VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It's Black Restaurant Week here in Hampton Roads, with 16 Black-owned restaurants at 18 locations offering up specials to the community. One such food service staple: J&K Style Grill.
Come into J&K Style Grill in Virginia Beach and you’ll probably find Tonya Dooley at the cash register and Kelvin Dooley in the back cooking up wings, but they’re not the owners.
The owner? Salem High School freshman Keona Taylor might be in the back working on homework, she could be at violin practice, or you might find her on the grill as well.
"I really like how you can put all the flavors together and it just comes out really good," said Keona, proclaiming cooking as her favorite of her in restaurant duties.
"You get to learn from the country and you get to learn from Virginia," Keona examines the unique background of J&K. She was born and raised in Virginia Beach. Dad Kelvin and Mom Tonya bring the southern hospitality.
They're originally from Georgia and South Carolina, but their military careers brought them to Hampton Roads. They purchased J&K for the youngest of their six kids, Keona.
"Bought it for her when she was nine and she’s been working in it ever since," said Kelvin. The last of those six years has been the most unique, with the advent of COVID-19. According to Kelvin, the community's been there for the family, even in the midst of coronavirus.
"The community has supported J&K like never before. We are getting a lot of support from the entire community. This area right here has always supported Black-owned businesses, but to have Black Restaurant Week, people have been coming out with major support," said Kelvin, egg rolls and stuffed wings cooking behind him.
That community helps support their growing business and their growing family.
"Family is everything for us, being mother and father of six children, six grandchildren... family is everything."