New Black-owned eatery opens in mall

Image courtesy: Kae Smith

Food choices have often been challenging in Tallahassee.

But if you are visiting the mall, the options have just expanded in a way students at Florida A&M might enjoy.

SugarCane & Spices is a new Black-owned restaurant that was originally created in 2015 as a food truck by Kae Smith. Relocating to the mall has brought SugarCane & Spices more diverse customers, which Smith says is beneficial to her brand and what she stands for. While she faced hardships with the food truck, that did not stop her from staying the course.

Smith said she expects SugarCane & Spices to be successful in its new location.

“Things have changed in order to break barriers not only as a small Black business but as Caribbean based,” Smith said. “I am striving for sustainability as well as cleanliness to make sure all requirements are met in order to succeed within my business.”

The quality of service a company offers frequently distinguishes successful operations from those that fail in today’s fiercely competitive restaurant market. Focusing on quality over quantity makes the customer know what they will be getting.

They have created a Caribbean dish with a southern flair. They use spices and herbs to make the dishes flavorful. The meat is made with smokey pimento flavor wood to create a popular Jamaican jerk chicken.

Brandon Parker, a Florida A&M University alumnus, visited SugarCane & Spices on Saturday. He ordered the salmon with rice and peas, pineapple mango salsa and broccoli.

“This is the most food I have gotten for the amount that I paid for,” Parker said. “And it was fire too.”

Many of the dishes are made like a stew, which creates more flavor because it cooks longer then usual to infuse the flavor.

“Everyone deserves to have luxury food without having to pay a ton,” Smith said. “As Black individuals we deserve luxury but luxury does not always mean expensive.”

SugarCane & Spices offers many menu options such as vegan friendly meals starting with your choice of protein, a base, two toppings, one side, and two sauces. Prices vary from $10.75 — $21.50. Smith is also creating ways to make the food more affordable. Smith has developed a weekday lunch special with $2 off between 11a.m and 2p.m.