The Loving Spoonful: Comfort and Community at Jerk N’ Jive

As winter approaches, accessing a warm Caribbean vibe is closer (and more affordable) than you think. Every day, Jerk N’ Jive Caribbean Kitchen serves up locally sourced, authentic love by the plate in its Frederick locations on East Street and Prospect Boulevard. Since 2017, husband and wife, James and Danielle Smith, have brought vibrancy, flavor, and Caribbean hospitality to the Frederick community.

Frederick residents since 2010, Danielle, a Johnson & Wales culinary graduate, and James, a marketing professional, wanted to spice up the local food scene. So in 2017, James, an event planner by trade, planned a local event that featured Caribbean cuisine. The crowd’s resounding love of the food led the Smiths to a bold, flavorful venture as owners of a Caribbean restaurant.

From oxtail stew to jerk chicken, coconut shrimp to fish frys, the Smiths’ two locations are feasts for the senses. Whether patrons prefer the intimacy of their 1,200-square foot location on East Street, or the live music and atmosphere at their sprawling Prospect Boulevard locale, every trip to Jerk N’ Jive is sure to delight.

The ingredients to running to this popular, black-owned business aren’t proprietary. The secret sauce, according to James, is dedication. “You have to be dedicated,” he advises. “Be well prepared, well capitalized, and ready to work!”

The Smiths love their community, and it loves them right back. Whether sponsoring school supply giveaways, the Howard University Marching Band in the Elks Parade, or the Mommy and Me Prom honoring youth mentees and their moms, Jerk N’ Jive prioritizes people.

“I’m happy to be a pioneer in bringing a successful, black-owned businesses to Frederick County,” James states. “I think that Frederick County is changing. It’s a lot more diverse than it was when we first moved to the area,” he observes. His capacity as a change agent and a connector for other entrepreneurs powers him through 20-hour workdays.

Comfort food and community underpin the Jerk N’ Jive experience. You may stop by for a curry, but you’ll leave with a full heart.

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