Entrepreneur Spotlight

A Fresh Approach to Grab and Go

Thanks to a brief suggestion from a renowned local chef, Jerry “Jay” Johnson got the notion of learning to cook. He had some experience working in restaurants, but he had never considered that it would become his career.

Now, more than fifteen years after that first nudge, Jay is preparing to open Freschi’s Foods at 304 Queen Street, Beaufort, NC with a menu of “fast casual food.”

The restaurant’s location is not only special from a personal history perspective – the building has been in his family for several generations and Jay grew up around the corner – but it is also perfect for his target audience. Situated in walking distance from county office buildings and the Courthouse, Freschi’s will capitalize on a built-in lunch crowd during the week, not to mention his neighbors who have already proclaimed his food “the best ever!”

Jay is happiest at the grill, turning out specialties like the Beaufort Bacon Burger, wings, stuffed mushrooms, and shrimp and grits.

In a building that was once home to a fish market, a pool hall, and a convenience store, the site is now ready for its newest chapter, and so is Jay!

The First Rung funds were used for building improvements and permitting.