“You are going to make me cry, I love my customers and my heart just blows up when I see them come in from my old restaurant and remember us,” said Jeanie McAndrew Holmes, 47, about her new restaurant, Jeanie’s -it’s all good-.
Jeanie’s, as it is known for short, is a fairly new restaurant that has been located on the outskirts of Hammond, off of Highway 190 East, for nearly two years. With their brief hours and amazing cliental, Holmes’ restaurant has become a success. Holmes and her husband opened the restaurant on Feb. 4, 2016. Jeanie’s is not only known for their delicious food, but also their hours of operation. Holmes said, “We decided to go as abbreviated as we dared on our hours. We really prayed and talked about it and we decided, God, family and then business and it will fall in line.” Jeanie’s is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Holmes’ success did not come easy, however. She started out as a single mother that was looking for flexible hours in a job while also maintaining classes at Southeastern Louisiana University. She said, “My first job in a restaurant was as a waitress, and that was at Cuckoos which used to be in the Hammond Square Mall.” Holmes, who was McAndrew at the time, explained how she went on to pursue many different jobs in the restaurant industry and eventually found her way to some management positions. Holmes said, “I realized that restaurant was my love and that I was not a scholar.”
Later, after Holmes and her husband married, they had two children and opened their first restaurant in 2006. The restaurant was known as Hook’d, Not Just Fish. Holmes said, “We had that for four years and it was a successful business, but our hours of operation were much longer and my children were much younger. I honestly burnt out; I was tired.”
Holmes explained how her previous business benefited her in many ways that led her to open her new restaurant, Jeanie’s. She said, “Greg and I learned a lot from the last venture. We knew for us not to get tired again, we would have to shorten our hours because my husband is now employed with Entergy and he used to help me at the other one, but now he can’t.”
Holmes continued to promote her new restaurant and described the food and the overall atmosphere of Jeanie’s. She said, “I really consider us to be a southern, home cooking restaurant, although we incorporate a little Italian and of course seafood.” Holmes also noted how diverse her menu is and why it does not have a specific classification. She said, “Between restaurants, of course we are a family and go out to eat, but there were five of us. No one ever wanted the same thing. So when I was doing this, I decided to have a little bit of everything that appeals to everyone.”
Holmes explained how her businesses would not have been successful without the hard working and loyal staff that she has been blessed with. She said, “I love them, but I expect a lot out of them. I hold my staff to a very high level of customer service. They do a very good job of it and I consider them family.” Holmes mentioned how all of her kitchen staff from her previous restaurant came back to work for her new one. Holmes said, “I think it says a lot about them and a lot about us.”
La Quinta Baker, 27, has been knowing Holmes since she was 17-years-old. Baker said, “I was working at Waffle House at the time and Jeanie and her husband came in to eat and she was telling me about opening a restaurant and if I would like to work for her. I told her of course because I love to waitress.” Baker has been an employee at Jeanie’s since the grand opening and continues to work their today. Baker has many regular customers now and she said, “I have a variety of customers and I love them all.” Baker, mother of four children, has continued to stay with this job for multiple reasons other than her customers. She said, “I love the hours because they are flexible and Jeanie is a wonderful person.” Baker has been a loyal employee at Jeanie’s for nearly two years and because she is known as the veteran waitress, she explained more about the variety of food on the menu. She said, “We have really good food. The name of this place is Jeanie’s –it’s all good- for a reason; it is literally all good.”
Jeanie’s is also known to cater to their regulars on a day to day basis. Charles Abadie Sr., 63, is a faithful customer at Jeanie’s. He found out about Jeanie’s through one of his clients who mentioned how fantastic the food and how friendly the staff was. His client advised that Abadie attend for lunch one day and he did. Abadie spoke highly of the restaurant and said, “It feels like home. The atmosphere is well-lit and cheery, a happy place.” Abadie has been a loyal customer since he ate his first lunch at Jeanie’s. He continued to compliment the staff and explained how much he loved them. He said, “On Wednesdays, I get the lasagna special. On Mondays, I love the red beans.” He is a huge fan of the daily specials and he recommends them to everyone. Abadie said, “You can’t go wrong with the specials, but everything, like the sign says out front, is all good.”
Jonah Traylor, 19, is a new employee at Jeanie’s who has taken on the job of the host. Traylor has only been working there for one month, but explains how much he loves and appreciates his job. He said, “I like working there because I like interacting with people and we have the regulars that come in that you can grow a relationship with.” Even though Traylor has only been employed for a small duration of time, he explained how he found his way to mix with the small staff. He said, “The wait staff is all really close like a family.” Traylor also went on to describe what kind of atmosphere that the restaurant gives off. He said, “The atmosphere is 50’s America meets Italy, it’s a welcoming environment.” Traylor described how much he appreciates and respects Holmes as a boss and how this job suits his busy schedule as an active, full time student at Southeastern Louisiana University. He mentioned that he is friends with Holmes’ daughter so that is how he found this job opportunity.
Holmes made sure not to leave out anyone who has attributed to her success. She said, “My biggest inspiration is a man that I worked under for years, who I learned so much from, and his name was Mr. G.” Holmes was employed at a place in Covington called Pasta Kitchen and this was Mr. G’s restaurant. She explained how much of a positive influence in her life that he was. She said, “I learned a lot from him. He was a brilliant business man and incredibly successful.” Holmes continued with explaining who her motivation is today and why she keeps pushing forward. She said, “My motivation is definitely my kids and my husband and even young people in general. I want to instill in my kids that if you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
Jeanie’s is a great place to go sit down and enjoy a peaceful breakfast or even a nice lunch where you will see many familiar faces. Holmes said, “The atmosphere here is very eclectic, where everyone kind of knows everyone when you walk in.” This restaurant is a fun-loving and family friendly restaurant, where all the food is as great as the atmosphere and staff. Holmes said, “That’s where the whole ‘It’s all good’ came from, because it is all good and if it wasn’t all good, we would not have it on the menu.”