We had the good fortune of connecting with Vivia Charles and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vivia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We are an entrepreneurial family, For the past three decades our family has been business owners.. One of those businesses have been a restaurant in Northern Virginia. The largest impetus in starting a restaurant in Waco Texas was divine guidance. Business is one of the greatest builders of community and in our research we found that Waco was fertile soil not to build a promising restaurant but also to assist in redevelopment of East Waco. Food has always been a way to bring people together. So, this The foundation of Tru Jamaica.. If you build it they will come “ Field of Dreams”.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After being put on stage at the age of five in a dance contest and winning, I think that started my artistic career. I was creative in my imagination and through my writing. I was an A student in English. In my home the Christian faith was ever present and I believed in what I was taught. This helped my imagination to blossom and to believe that in life I could achieve many things. All through high school I was voted best dressed in my class because I loved sewing.. My parents did not have the money to buy me all the clothes I wanted but they had enough to buy me fabric and patterns. Later, I became a cosmetologist at the urging of my husband. I didn’t see it but he did. The hair business not only gave me freedom of artistic expression but a community of women and men and the ability to put others to work. This was what really grew my passion for business. This is where I saw how I could make a difference not only for me and my family but for others as well. Other than church a salon becomes a place that nurtures. It nurtures the young and the old. Friendship begins, the jobless find work, athletes are sponsored and life lessons are learned and encouragement given. Being able to help others is a blessing and because I’ve had so mush help on my journey I am excited each day to pour into others. My creativity comes from my daily walk of faith. It allows me to see all the beauty of this world in small ways. So, I realize that each item on every plate matters. I want our guests to feel cared for when they dine with us. That keeps me striving each day. The truth is we all fit in somewhere. The key is to find what gives joy to others and do it well and stay grateful.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, I would want to find out what their interests are and what their plans are for the week. Then I would start planning our week around some of their interests and how I could expand on those interests through things in my town. Breaking bread together is a great way to start off our first day so I believe I would take the time to prepare a light breakfast and then a trip to Magnolia. I would also have to introduce them to the Dr Pepper museum as well as one of the first draw bridges in the USA. Dinner is probably going to be at Tru Jamaica a couple times in this week because we offer a variety of dishes and you can really see a cross section of different Waco’ans as they come in to dine. Outdoor activities are big in Waco as they have become big everywhere in the country. So we would rent bikes and go biking in Cameron Park, another great place to hang out. It is one of the largest downtown parks in any city. Walking by the water is very enjoyable early in the mornings or whenever the weather allows. We would have to check out some of the food trucks and other great dining spots here in Waco, maybe do some axe throwing. Later down in the week we would visit the mammoth museum and of course and we can’t leave out a tour of the beautiful Baylor Bears football Stadium. Waco can also boast of the Brazos River which runs right through downtown, A boat ride down the river would be very interesting and then a walk through the former downtown of Waco which is now known as the East Waco where we would end up back at Tru Jamaica for a thirst quenching drink of ice cold pineapple ginger or sorrel ginger beverage and a beef pattie. I think a to top off the week we would have a a few drinks at one of the rooftop bars in town.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Tru Jamaica is an American dream story, So this story is built on many shoulders, My Jamaican grandparents who believed in community and sharing the little they had with others, My parents who brought seven kids to the United States just after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. and showed us that through faith and work you can achieve anything. My Jamaican heritage of flavorful food, my mothers love through her wonderful preparation of daily meals and deserts and last but not least my deceased husband Aniceto sr… Thirty plus years he did most of the cooking for our family. All this love that has been poured into me I now get to share with my new community of Waco.. I can’t stop just yet, This young man that is the co-owner of Tru Jamaica is brilliant and inspiring. University may have honed his skill and broadened his mind but he encompasses a true entrepreneurial heart. People are important to him first and foremost. He wears many hats, too many for me to name them all. His attention to detail, to our staff and engagement with our clientele helps make everyday at Tru Jamaica an amazing place to create, to work and to dine.

Website: www.trujamaica.com

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Other: Online ordering ( 254) 304-9288

Image Credits
All the photos were taken by Tru Jamaica

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