Clint Jackson’s experience in the restaurant business dates back to his days as an 18-year-old.
Those experiences provided him with business knowledge and a passion for good eats, which pushed his desire to serve local patrons homestyle country cooking at his very own eatery — Mama J’s.
“A lot of people say our food is like grandma used to make,” said Jackson. “I have people tell me they want to go back in the kitchen to see if their grandma’s really in the back.”
Jackson managed a local bar on Wayne Street before venturing out on his own to open an Italian restaurant in Eatonton called Jefferson Avenue in 2009. After selling the business, Jackson went on to remodel homes and build cabinets for a company in Covington.
“I then opened up Southside Thrift two years ago in the Town & Country Shopping Center. I sold a lot of kitchen equipment from restaurant businesses so when it was time to expand, we opened up Mama J’s next door three months ago,” Jackson said. “We first thought about doing hamburgers and hot dogs, but the ladies that worked for me at the thrift store can really cook. They happen to be some of the best cooks in a six-county area. You have to go far and wide to find someone as good as they are.”
Located in the Town & Country Shopping Center next to Rose’s, Mama J’s offers a wide variety of soul food and home cooking, from the ever-popular turkey wings, oxtails and beef liver to neck bones, fried and baked chicken, pork chops, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, lima beans, yeast rolls and fried corn bread.
“We have lunch specials Monday through Friday, which include meat, two vegetables, bread and a drink for $7.50. We also serve Sunday dinner each week where we offer more of a variety and you get a little extra on your plate,” Jackson said. “Everything is made from scratch. It takes a lot of time and ingredients, but since we’ve been open, business has been better than expected.”
Mama J herself — Jackson’s mother Christine — stops by the eatery occasionally to provide moral support.
“I named the restaurant after my mother to honor her. On her 74th birthday she went skydiving, and prior to that she went parasailing in the Caribbean, ziplining in the Congo, whitewater rafting in the Colorado River, and she’s now skeet shooting,” Jackson said of his mother’s adventurous side. “She was also Mother Goose with Walt Disney where she would travel around to children’s hospitals.”
Mama J’s is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday.
“Maybe by the first of the month we will do dinner and expand hours to 10 o’clock at night. We’re getting new equipment in by the first of November, which will allow us to offer a wider variety of home cooked meals,” Jackson said. “We’ve had a real good response from the community and we appreciate our customers. I encourage everybody who likes home cooking to come by and see us.”
For more information about the restaurant or to place a to-go order call 478-295-3155.
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