HomeBusinessWe are the DRIP: 17-year-old student takes over midtown restaurant

We are the DRIP: 17-year-old student takes over midtown restaurant

Midtown staple Saucy Jake’s Street Food has reopened, but this time with someone else calling the shots. 

Jacob Richmond Jr., better known as “JJ” or “Little Saucy,” is now officially running the restaurant. The 17-year-old high school student held the soft opening for the Campbell Street store last Thursday. 

The opening was met with much community support, both on social media and in person. As soon as the doors opened at 10 a.m., people started making orders.

The Richmond family is known in Jackson for their flavorful food, and bringing their children into the business. They opened the Saucy Jake’s Food Truck in 2016, and quickly transitioned into a full restaurant. In 2021, Jacob and Regina Richmond helped their daughter Addison start an ice cream business on East Baltimore Street. In 2022, the Richmonds opened the brunch restaurant Skillet Junction in the Neely House on South Royal Street. 

While the family focused on revitalizing South Royal Street, they took a step back from running Saucy Jake’s, until the family business was passed down to their son.

“Since I was a little kid, I’ve been watching them grind and work hard, and it’s given me the love for food, and want to be able to do it on my own,” Richmond Jr. said at the restaurant’s opening, “I won’t become the full owner until October, when I turn 18, so I’m transitioning into that right now.”

Now, Richmond says he is the one telling them to come into work, when it used to be the other way around. 

“There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with it,” Richmond said. 

Saucy Jake’s is best known for their hot wing selection: whole, drums or flats. They serve the wings with 16 different homemade sauces. They also serve non-traditional egg rolls, like philly cheesesteak, jerk chicken, and buffalo chicken. Other menu items include a hamburger, fries and fried okra, and deep fried ribs.

“We slow cook them for four hours on the grill then deep fry them to finish them off,” Richmond said, referring to the ribs. 

While the heart of the menu remains the same, Richmond says he has made a few changes, including adding a pulled pork sandwich and catfish plate. 

The restaurant also has a new slogan: “We are the drip,” referring to their 16 homemade sauces, and the swagger or “drip” you would expect from a 17-year-old boy. 

Richmond says more importantly, the phrase refers to a saying his mother has told him. 

“My mom has said to me that when I started out I was like a drip of water. It’s slow in the process, but if you don’t watch it, it will get out of hand. So at first I was like a drip of water, and now I own a restaurant,” Richmond said. 

Since Richmond is still finishing high school through homeschooling, the hours for Saucy Jakes are limited to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. 

“I know what you’re thinking,” Richmond said in his opening announcement, “The hours might be small, but I’m a teenager.”

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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