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Vendor provides a taste of Jamaica

Bertram Grant is an unlikely but welcome sight in Morrisville village.

Grant, a large Jamaican man with a bright smile, has created a booming business selling homemade Jamaican food from a little silver food truck decorated with Christmas lights.

You can find his truck parked near the municipal offices on Portland Street Thursday through Saturday nights. On Wednesdays, Grant parks it at the Oxbow to take advantage of the crowds drawn by the Morrisville Farmers Market and free outdoor music concerts.

His business, B&S Jamaica Cuisine, also offers catering and deejay services. Grant will prepare and serve food on-site or bring fully prepared meals to parties.

Grant is from Orange Bay, Jamaica, where he learned to cook 30 years ago while working for local restaurants and resorts.

In 2000, a work visa brought him to South Carolina and Florida. Several years later, he found work at the Spruce Camp Base Lodge at Stowe Mountain Resort.

But, for Grant, the American Dream meant eventually striking out on his own.

“I wanted to go into business for myself,” Grant said last week as he and his business manager, Sheri Palmer, greeted and served customers.

He considered starting his business in a larger town or city, but was drawn to Morrisville.

“I like small towns,” Grant said.

His menu, posted daily on his business Facebook page, changes frequently, based on the vegetables and meats he finds at local markets.

“I use only fresh stuff and make my menu based on what’s available,” Grant said.

Choices almost always include jerk chicken, fish — usually ahi tuna or swordfish — rice and beans, and a medley of Jamaican vegetables.

The jerk chicken, moist and blackened to perfection, is by far his most popular offering. He also makes jerk pork, jerk curry and curried lamb, stews, and grilled pork chops.

Grant makes homemade jerk seasonings, both rubs and bottled varieties, though he declined to share his recipe of herbs and seasonings.

“It’s a secret,” he said, laughing.

Customers who want a little more spice can ask him to douse their orders with his homemade hot sauce.