New Restaurant, Entrepreneur Center in Jackson | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

New Restaurant, Entrepreneur Center in Jackson

Norma Ruth's chef Brian Myrick (left) and owner John "Stax" Tierre (right) offer up rib-eye steaks, wings, burgers, seafood such as shrimp and crab claws, and more.

Norma Ruth's chef Brian Myrick (left) and owner John "Stax" Tierre (right) offer up rib-eye steaks, wings, burgers, seafood such as shrimp and crab claws, and more. Photo by Trip Burns.

Jackson-Based Multi-Business Owner Opens New Restaurant

John "Stax" Tierre moved to Jackson from Houston, Texas, in 1996 to attend Jackson State University on a tennis scholarship. The three-time SWAC champion majored in business administration during his time at JSU and, upon graduating, decided to headquarter his planned business venture in Jackson.

Tierre, 36, owns an entire plaza of shops on Ellis Avenue. He began 10 years ago with a clothing store called Stax Hip Hop and Urban Fashion, which produced the popular Official Block Wear clothing line. Over the years, Tierre opened a salon called Red Room Hair Studio and a barbershop called Cut Factory. Two months ago, Tierre added Norma Ruth's restaurant to the plaza.

Norma Ruth's is a takeout-only restaurant inspired by and named for Tierre's grandmother, who was born in Omaha, Neb., in 1891.

"My grandmother was passionate about cooking," Tierre said. "She would do it for her church, for family members and for the community. She became popular for her baking and soul food dishes. People came from all over to sample her food, including celebrities and athletes."

Norma Ruth's chef Brian Myrick, who has also worked for Jackson's Char and Anjou restaurants, offers up rib-eye steaks, wings, burgers, seafood such as shrimp and crab claws, and more. Tierre is especially proud of the restaurant's tilapia, and shrimp and salmon balls.

"We're bringing a type of food to this side of town that wasn't here before," Tierre said. "We're working with 450 square feet, and we've taken it and made it efficient, like what you have to do in New York City. I consider this to be my own Jackson growth project. I've watched the local restaurateurs like Jeff Good and tried to model myself after them, and I've been providing jobs for all ethnic groups in Jackson here and at my other shops. The community response we're getting has been amazing."

In addition to the group of shops on Ellis Avenue, Tierre owns another Norma Ruth's location in his grandmother's native Omaha. He and his business partner, John Goodwin, have plans to open more Norma Ruth's locations in Los Angeles, Denver and Fort Worth.

Norma Ruth's is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information call 601-594-9390 or communicate through Instagram @normaruths.

MDA Opens Entrepreneur Center

On Thursday, March 27, Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from the Mississippi Development Authority cut the ribbon on MDA's new Entrepreneur Center, located on the first floor of the Woolfolk State Office Building in Jackson. The Entrepreneur Center provides services free-of-charge to individuals interested in starting a new business or expanding existing operations.

"The new Entrepreneur Center at the Mississippi Development Authority is designed to provide better access to the information and resources we offer that will help new potential entrepreneurs and existing small business owners pursue and maintain successful operations in our state," MDA Entrepreneur Center Manager John Brandon said in a release.

The center includes a resource library and workstations so clients can work on business plans with easy access to the resource team. The Entrepreneur Center also unveiled a new website with information to assist Mississippi's small business owners.

The Entrepreneur Center offers other services that include providing entrepreneurs with general business assistance—such as developing a business plan—as well as information regarding finance and accounting, marketing, and retail assistance. The center also hosts seminars on topics such as "How to Start Your Own Business" and "Servicing Your Customers."

"From high-tech start-up companies to manufacturers to bakeries, MDA's Entrepreneur Center team has always been equipped with the tools needed to assist the state's entrepreneurs as they strive to own a successful company," MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen said in a release. "The new resources available at the Entrepreneur Center's new location will help the resource team provide even more one-on-one, personalized assistance to clients. We invite entrepreneurs from throughout the state to visit our new location and take advantage of the assistance available through the Entrepreneur Center."

To learn more, visit the Entrepreneur Center's website or contact John Brandon at 601-359-2399.

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