Just around the corner from Roberson, the restaurant JK’s Kitchen has proved itself a prominent community spot since 2007.
Despite the recent increase of chain restaurants in the area, JK’s has been able to maintain itself with loyal customers and by creating a different atmosphere from that of surrounding chain eateries.
“Being a local restaurant as opposed to a chain is a big difference because you have the same people come in all the time. It’s really neat because customers that come in everyday develop a friendship with the other customers,” said JK’s employee Chrissy Kamisol. “Working in a smaller restaurant that is independently owned is so much better than working in a chain restaurant.”
Junior Holly Cline works at JK’s as well as Chick-Fil-A, a chain restaurant just down the street. According to Cline, working at a local restaurant is nice because she gets to see the same faces all the time which allows her to bond with the people there.
“We’ve been coming for breakfast since we first moved here, and now I usually come after I exercise. A lot of people come here consistently and you get to know them. I think that creates a good relationship between the employees and the customers,” said Eulone Sawiski, a customer.
Restaurant owner Robin Graham wanted a place to eat a home cooked breakfast after a family favorite Costa’s Kitchen relocated.
“Me and my husband always enjoy breakfast with our kids every morning. It’s kind of our opportunity to spend time together before the rest of the day. At that point in time, everything just kind of fell into place, the Lord opened doors even though we didn’t know what we were doing. We met the right people and the right places and things just kind of opened up for us,” Graham said.
According to Graham, their initial plan was just to provide a good employment opportunity for workers and to give back to the local community. It was also to provide a place for people to gather and have an opportunity to meet others.
According to Kamisol, who has been a part of this “family” for 3 years now, JK’s is unique in the area.
“We have a wonderful staff and wonderful customers who have met each other. It’s just the environment of our customers and our community that really make it a special place,” Graham said.
Graham is an alumni of Roberson and is recognized in the athletic Hall of Fame as a basketball player. Kamisol believes that Graham and her husband continue to uphold a positive reputation throughout the community as well.
“The Graham’s are just very nice people to work for. They are very generous people, and if anybody needs anything out in the community, Robin and Mark are always willing to do whatever they can do. They’re very Godly people with big hearts,” Kamisol said.
The Grahams started JK’s with the ideals of a nonprofit in mind. Although it is not officially registered as such, proceeds are used to give back to the community in a number of different ways.
“They go on mission trips all the time. It makes me really proud to say that after they pay the workers and the bills, everything else just goes to charity. It’s just really nice to think that they don’t profit from it at all. It’s just something they invested their time and energy in to benefit other people,” Cline said.