Grilling the traditional food he grew up on in Kingston Jamaica was initially a way for Beevas to unwind from working as a director of global community relations at Cargill. “It was a dream position, helping to feed people all around the world,” he says.
But it was feeding people in his own backyard that kick-started his venture into the restaurant business. The island-spiced aromas from his south Minneapolis grill started to attract neighbors and friends. His yard soon became such a hot spot to eat that he decided to turn it into a business.
He teamed up with his next door neighbor, Yoni Reinharz, a local hip hop artist known for his role in launching the Jewish-Jamaican rap genre. Together, they started bringing their classic Jamaican fare to local events like the Uptown Art Fair and Pride Festival.
Next, they got picked up by the Food Network show "Food Court Wars." They won. The prize money helped launch their first brick and mortar location of Pimento Jamaican Kitchen at the Burnsville Center in 2013. Beevas soon decided to leave his job at Cargil, realizing that growing Pimento would require his full attention.
It would also require financing and support that banks were hesitant to provide.