Caroline Coke

Island Grocery & Restaurant
5861 Albemarle Road
Charlotte, NC 28212
704-532-0322

Caroline Coke, a former chemist turned entrepreneur, is co-owner of Island Grocery & Grill which she runs with her husband, sister, and brother-in-law. Born in Jamaica in the parish of St. James, Ms. Coke grew up with a strong sense of family and community. When she moved to the United States at thirteen, she experienced what it was like to be away from the culture so deeply embedded into her being, away from her neighbors, and the village that raised her. In New Jersey, where she first landed, Ms. Coke found Jamaican enclaves with the comforts of home. She eventually settled in Charlotte, and once again sought out island comforts but could find none. To fill that need, she opened Island Grocery & Grill with her family and recreates the sights, sounds and smells of island life through food, music, and Caribbean staples.

Date of interview:

March 24, 2017

Interviewer:

Keia Mastrianni

Photographer:

Peter Taylor


Moving to Charlotte was a big difference, and we realized that there was a need. And we’re striving every day to fill that need. You walk into the store, you hear the music, you hear the language, and you find camaraderie through that. You get to build relationships and even maintain some of your culture and some of the things that you’re familiar with, the foods and the music or the smells.

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