By Michelle Bass, Gary Crusader
Walking into J’s Breakfast Club during its grand opening on Thursday, June 1, you could feel the energy as cooks and waitresses hurried about taking orders and preparing meals at the newest local eatery in Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood. The restaurant is located across the street from Chase Bank on Broadway.
“I want people to know that we’re not fast food … we’re home cooked food,” said owner Joslyn Washington Kelly. The eatery boasts bold vibrant colors, a full service coffee bar and many mouth watering breakfast choices. “It means a lot to me that the food is proper. Customers come in and have an inviting environment, and they get what they’re looking for.”
Kelly met some challenges after opening the original restaurant two years ago. She knew she would have to move her location, and one day while running errands driving through the Glen Park section heading south on Broadway, she said a prayer asking God for guidance. “If I’m supposed to move, I want to move to the right location.”
She wanted to successfully grow her business. “I had this feeling to start jotting down addresses and availability,” she said. She had written down about three or four addresses when her car slowed in front of a vacant window. She decided to add that address to her already growing list and continue with her day.
Returning from her errands, Kelly decided to take the same route heading north. When traffic slowed, her car stopped in front of that same vacant window. Kelly knew the preacher’s daughter at the Gary Christian Center next door, and decided to give her a call to obtain information related to the location. With excitement and assistance from her network of friends, and Facebook, Joslyn was able to move forward with her plan. “Everything else is basically history,” she said, adding, “In two to three years, I would like us to have one in Indianapolis.”
At the same time her partnership with the Genesis Center was nearing an end and a sorority friend suggested Ivy Tech as J’s Breakfast Club’s second home. Kelly called Ivy Tech, filled out the necessary paperwork and completed her proposal. Both of her business locations were finalized the same week.
She started service just three days a week at Ivy Tech, sharing the slot with Chick-fil-A. When Chick-fil-A closed, J’s Breakfast Club took over the remaining days. The coffee shop is now a full five day operation for the campus.
Kelly has some words of advice for anyone who would like to follow in her footsteps. “Be honest and true to yourself, the only person blocking you from your destiny is you. Once God has given you the vision, trust he’ll give you the provision, and move forward. Faith is in doing.”
When asked where she sees J’s Breakfast Club in the future, Kelly said thoughtfully, “I’d like to see us coast to coast.”