Jessie’s has always been known for its laid-back atmosphere where “everybody knows your name.” But it offers much more than breakfast and lunch during the week and brunch on Sunday. It is a place where friends meet!
The owner’s name of Jessie’s Restaurant and Catering is Mikki – not Jessie. She has a one-of-a-kind personality that fits her unique and eclectic restaurant, Jessie’s Restaurant and Catering, in downtown Valdosta. But when the restaurant opened in 1999 as Jessie’s Eats and Treats by Kim Newman, she named it after her daughter, Jessie. The name Mikki decided to keep. Some customers still assume the owner's name must be Jessie, so Mikki has learned to answer to both names.
That may be a glimpse into her laid-back style and casual demeanor, but it also shows that the name of her restaurant is as important to her as her own. It is also part of a much more strategic approach to maintaining and growing her customer base. Mikki began working at Jessie’s Eats and Treats in 1998 while attending Valdosta State University. After graduating with a Marketing Degree, she moved home to attend the Art Institute of Atlanta, getting an Associates in Culinary Arts. Eventually, she moved to Orlando, Florida for a stint at Disney as a Cook at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. When she was approached about coming back to manage the restaurant by Newman she gave it some thought and made a counteroffer – she would purchase the restaurant. The two agreed, and Mikki became the owner in 2009. Since then she has brought the restaurant a long way!