Ziggy’s Caribbean Cuisine
Taste the island breeze
A little bit of Jamaica in Minot?
It’s a long way from tropical weather to the frozen north, but that’s exactly what two enterprising men have done and brought a “taste of the island breeze” with them.
Rashied Powell and Jerome Webber opened Ziggy’s Caribbean Cuisine on Jan. 18, one of the coldest months of the year. It may seem bold and unusual, but not for two enterprising men from the sunshine of Jamaica.
“We came to the U.S. as exchange students. The money was good here and we stayed. You don’t make much money in Jamaica,” said Powell with a smile and a laugh.
Powell and Webber sometimes found themselves on opposing teams on the soccer fields of Jamaica. Now they are partners in business.
“You gotta’ do what you gotta’ do. I’m not gonna’ lie. Our first year here we almost went home,” recalled Webber.
Webber arrived in Minot in May. Snow was still on the ground.
“I was in big coats and everything and I saw a person walking around in shorts and slippers,” remarked Webber.
Powell arrived at the Minot Airport in the month of June, well into the summer season in North Dakota but nowhere near the much warmer climate of Jamaica.
“I came up in shorts and walked out of the airport and walked right back in,” said Powell. “Now we love it here. I coach my kid’s soccer team. There’s lots to do here.”
The two men worked in the North Dakota oil fields for a while but were part of extensive layoffs that plagued that activity.
“I was home, laid off, and went and got the truck and took it from there,” said Powell.
The truck, or food trailer, wasn’t just a spur of the moment decision. Not in the least.
“We were thinking about this truck for quite a while,” said Webber. “We came to the U.S. in 2012. We came here and couldn’t find our type of food, from the Carribean. We usually cooked for ourselves. Our friends would come over and try it and say it is amazing.”
“We love cooking. We’ve both been cooking since we were kids,” said Powell. “We wanted to do this since 2017 but it didn’t work out. My mom, the lady that raised me, taught me everything that I know. I came here and cooked for my wife. She said it was amazing and I should start a restaurant.”
Enter Ziggy’s Caribbean Cuisine, a restaurant on wheels. Right now Ziggy’s is operating three days a week on the lot of Restore on the corner of 1st Avenue Southwest and Broadway, and three days a week on the lot of the Pour Farm near Walmart. Customers have been raving about the food.
“They definitely keep coming back,” said Webber. “We’ve already been requested in Bismarck and other places. That’s something to look into too.”
“We wanted to bring something new to the city and went ahead and did it,” remarked Powell. “One of main dishes on the menu is jerk chicken. Jamaica is known for that. It’s pretty much the thing in Jamaica.”
Other items on the menu includes curry shrimp, which Powell describes as a “big seller”, various chicken dishes, ox tail, rice and beans and a special pasta created by Powell and Webber. Food orders can be made through Ziggy’s Facebook page, by calling 818-0526, or by walk-up.