Brene Brown says that if we OWN the story we can write the ending. Jardin has just started a new chapter.
Yesterday Jardin reopened after three months of dismantling, breaking down, re-visioning and rebuilding.
I walked through the door and was in awe. There was no grand opening, just business as usual…friends huddled together over a meal…laughter…chattering….murmurs. Moms and daughters, fathers, sisters, friends who’ve been friends for most of Jardin’s lifetime – 37 years. Familiar staff…new faces…greeting customers with hugs and good cheer.
It felt good to be back home!
The regulars were elated.
Everything was different but the Jardin essence remained.
You see you can’t just TELL a story. You have to tell YOUR story.
That story has to be lived and embodied by every one working for and with you. No easy task but it’s possible.
I’ve never really written about food and I’m definitely not a foodie however my fish tacos were to die for and my lemon meringue pie was pure delight.
Jardin has been shaping their story for years. The Jardin then and now has changed several times. Same space but you can see growth and innovation and being alive and well.
Every interaction seemed raw and honest coming from the core of the person delivering it. Customer service cannot be contrived – that’s for sure. It must come from the heart.
Even in the leadership, owner Juliette Petit sat enjoying the unfolding as her daughter Rayne handled the staff, getting feedback on the first day, bent on constant and never ending improvement. Sure certain things were missing, like the signs that she was expecting but generally while this young apprentice had studied what had come before her – she is unique in her delivery – a combination of what was and her own innovative spin.
Juliette has definitely welcomed the unknown. There are lots of new things on the menu, the tried and “please don’t ever take this off the menu” items, the Poke bowls and the sides that makes it a no-brainer to the question – “what’s for dinner?”
Stories evolve, and it takes time and dedication to realize your vision.
- It took four years for Beethoven to complete his 5th symphony at the age of 38.
- Mark Twain was 49 when he wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
- At 38, John Coltrane recorded A Love Supreme, three years before his death.
- Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa.
I have no doubt in my mind, based on past performance that Jardin will be here for generations to come. Jardin is different. Not for the sake of being different. But Juliette has always had that self-certainty about what she wanted and how she wanted it. It takes courage to stand for what you want and reject some things that others feel you should do. But her steadfastness to her own truth makes Jardin a brand that has carved out a space with a permanent stamp in the history of food in Trinidad and Tobago.
We all have a message that needs to be shared and I received Jardin’s message loud and clear yesterday – we are here to stay – and we intend to do that through improvisation, innovation and genuine interaction with those who make it possible for us to remain in the game!