Violence, COVID hamper Ms Likkle’s popular food spot

November 03, 2021
Clevette Folkes-Straw prepares some of her jerk chicken at her little shop on North Street, downtown Kingston.
Clevette Folkes-Straw prepares some of her jerk chicken at her little shop on North Street, downtown Kingston.

Clevette Folkes-Straw, aka 'Likkle', has been selling jerked chicken back and other local dishes in downtown Kingston for more than 15 years, setting up a small shop a stone's throw away from Kingston College's North Street campus.

Folkes-Straw says that there have been many challenges and changes but she has had to adapt.

"I do chicken, sometimes chicken back. I do chicken neck at times. I fry fritters, I do breadfruits, I do festival, I do plantain. I do fries and anything else that comes along," she told THE STAR. "I get most of my customers from school, it's mostly schoolaz. I get like St George's College, Kingston College, I get Holy Trinity, I get like Alpha Academy and I get people from a lot of other schools that will pass by. I been here over 15 years now but sometimes, you know school is not on so it get a bit slow."

With the majority of schooling being done online, it means that the streets are nowhere near as packed with students as previous years. Folkes-Straw says that in addition to contending with the loss of her main customers due to the pandemic, her business has been challenged by the wave of violence that has broken out in nearby communities.

"Right now there is a war in the area so people would come from other communities, but since the war now them a stay wide. Now it's just a lot of passers-by and people in cars stop," she said.

With the downturn in business, Folkes-Straw is grateful that her husband helps to care for her four children, maintain the home and ensure that she does not have to stay out once the road gets too lonely.

"My husband does a lot of stuff. He's a jack of all trades, him do likkle a everything so he's here to back me up in case anything," she said.

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