Derron Williams, a UPS package delivery driver, never stopped working throughout the current crisis. But today, the essential worker from Brooklyn is dropping off something that’s closer to home: Williams is hosting a Jamaican cookout at the site where he’s usually picking up packages for deliveries.
Starting at 11:30am, the 40-year-old East New York resident will serve up fried chicken, jerk chicken, stew chicken and jerk pork with rice and peas or potato salad (each order is $10). He’s also selling fresh pineapple juice and carrot juice ($4). He’ll be there until everything sells out (there are plans for another cookout on Saturday, August 8th).
It’s all taking place in front of The Goods Mart, a hip convenient store located on the border of Soho and Little Italy. This is where Williams has made trips twice a day—mornings and evenings—to deliver the business’s curated Surprise Snack Boxes that are sent all over the country. He became friendly with Rachel Krupa, the owner of The Goods Mart, during the past few months and brought his jerk kitchen for her to try.
“Being on the frontlines, sometimes you are the only ones out there,” says Williams, of working early on during the pandemic. “At the same time, you’re worried about your own life. As you know, somebody has to do what we do.”
Williams moved to New York City 11 years ago, he says, and he had a restaurant called Fungee Place in Kingston for five years before that. He’s been cooking since he was 8-years-old and says if he were to find a good location and deal in the area, he’d consider opening his own place.
“The cookout is going to be a good day,” Williams says. “When you’re around good food and people, you’re going to have a good time.”
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