Big Mama’s Restaurant now open for business in Boykins

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Boykins resident Jessie Lashley, who also goes by “Big Mama,” has always enjoyed cooking for others. So when the opportunity came for her to establish her own restaurant downtown, she took on the challenge eagerly, opening Big Mama’s Country Cookin’ Restaurant in January of this year. Now, after being open for less than three months, it has quickly become the go-to place for dining out in town.

The restaurant is located in the same building as the former Hungry Rooster restaurant, which closed in late 2015, adjacent to the Boykins Butcher Block. Lashley opened her doors on Jan. 16 and held a grand opening ceremony on Feb. 28. She has seven part-time employees so far.

“It’s something I always wanted to do — own my own business, and I love to cook,” she said.

As her restaurant’s name implies, Lashley offers traditional, country-style Southern American cuisine, including pork chops, barbecue, friend chicken, catfish, baked beans, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and much more.

In the next one to two months, Lashley intends to add a buffet, which will be open the fourth Sunday of every month, and to have a seafood buffet on Fridays.

She was able to save on a few startup costs thanks to the building already being configured as a restaurant and the generosity of Eric Coard, the owner of Whittington Station Gift Shop and National Mailhouse Corporation, a printing shop across the street from Big Mama’s. He offered to create signs, menus and a Facebook page for her business for free. Coard is a former member of the Boykins Main Street Initiative, an organization that tries to help attract businesses to Boykins.

“BMSI tries to help attract businesses to Boykins, to help the businesses of Main Street by sponsoring events like Main Street yard sales, the Boykins Pumpkin Fest, Boykins July Jubilee and more,” he said. “BMSI also tried to help keep Main Street up by volunteering to cut, trim and maintain the mini park, paying for signage for Boykins shops and businesses, and trying to bring attention to Boykins businesses by sponsoring open houses, grand openings and ribbon cutting ceremonies at no cost to the business owners.”

He added that the menus and advertising he did for Big Mama’s, however, was entirely courtesy of his company and not a BMSI effort.

“I like to do what I can; I know how hard it is starting out,” he said.

For more information about Big Mama’s, call 743-8180.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.