Meet Pam Jacob, the owner of Pam’s Kitchen in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, WA. Pam moved to Seattle in the mid-1990s and dreamed of opening her own restaurant. She began catering events for her housecleaning clients, and before she knew it she had opened Pam’s Kitchen, where she serves outstanding Trinidadian food.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the community in business is in and why?
The people in my neighborhood are great. I have great relationships with them. They say I am a niche in the community. I often give homeless people food, and I have a welcoming space. My business and I make a difference in the community.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLkeitMatters?
It’s important because that’s what keeps small businesses going. If all the small businesses close, we’re taking away experiences that people can have. There won’t be shopping or dining except for large chains. So people should never give up on small businesses.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
When I first moved to Wallingford, many of the regular customers I had when my business was in the University District thought I had closed down my business, so I only had a few customers. So I decided to advertise on Facebook that I would give food away for free so people in the area could know what my business was offering. I got people from all around, like Spokane, Tacoma, and many places outside of Seattle! We had a very successful day that day.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
I cook from my heart. I put love into everything that I do. I don’t use recipes at my restaurant. When you’re passionate about something, that will come out in the product. My customers feel my love for the food. Also, there’s a great vibe and aurora at my restaurant. So if you want a genuinely good time, come by my restaurant.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you and your business?
During the beginning of COVID in 2020-2021, I received a lot of support, including from Intentionalist but 2022 was challenging finding employees, but I know this year will be fantastic!