October Tenant of the Month: Jimmy McPhillips of The Southern Grind Coffee House


October 8, 2018

Every month, we’re spotlighting one of our tenants here at The Wharf. This month is the marvelous owner of The Southern Grind Coffee House, Jimmy McPhillips. Step into his coastal kitchen to learn more about him and his one-of-a-kind coffee house, then stop on by for delightful coffee and lunch. To complete your day, grab a scrumptious gelato ice cream for dessert!

Where were you born and raised?
Warminster, PA.

How long has your restaurant been at The Wharf?
Opened December 7, 2012, so coming up on 6 years.

Where did you get your inspiration from to make The Southern Grind possible?
My first job was working for a small fish market, so I knew from that experience I wanted some day to own my own business. My wife Jaime is so talented, she was able to take our vision and make it come alive. I also had great support from my sister who has been an inspiration to me through the years.

What does a typical workday involve for you?
Getting up at 4am and heading into the store to start prepping for the day’s business. Then I typically spend most of my time in the kitchen, leaving the front of the house to my wonderful staff and my talented wife.

What’s the most unusual thing that’s happened to you on the job?
Finding a customer naked in the employee bathroom.

Who’s the most noteworthy person you have cooked for?
Emeril Lagasse.

What’s your favorite meal to cook for your family and friends?
Funny, I don’t cook much at home anymore, but in a pinch I go to the grill for steaks or ribs.

What is your favorite style of food?
Love Italian.

What’s your favorite annual event at The Wharf?
That’s a tough one. We have so many great events. I’d have to say Blue Marlin Grand Championship, World Food Championship, and Bama Coast Car Show.

What’s something your customers might not know about your store?
The paint color. We get asked so often we had to put a note at the register. Benjamin Moore Green Wave if you’re wondering.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Working in the yard. I love being outside. Also love to make items to sell in the store.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
Really want to travel to the Alps. I love the mountains, so Austria or Switzerland are on the top of my list.

What’s your favorite band/musician?
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Bruce is a great storyteller and gives you everything he has at a show. His music has inspired me through the years.

If you could spend the day with any celebrity or historical figure (living or dead), who would it be?
It would have to be Bruce Springsteen.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?
I would buy a cabin in the mountains.

Do you have any pets?
Two female dogs: Raci Virginia, our beloved Aussie, and Paisley Jane, a crazy Papillon. We also have 2 goats and 2 ducks. We did lose two of our best friends this year and we miss Jack and Cash, but we’re grateful for our time together. We love seeing our customers with their dogs.

Auburn or Alabama?
Roll Tide!

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