JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's been a staple in Jacksonville for 55-years. Regulars say the man behind Jenkins Quality Barbecue's savory sauce will be missed.
"People loved the product," said his daughter, Meltonia Jenkins-Dubois. "They love the product, and we tried to keep it simple."
Melton Jenkins Jr. started the restaurant in 1957 with one cook and just $125. It was where all six of Jenkins daughters spent their spare time growing up.
"He would go to work, work a double shift and work at the barbecue stand. And then he would go back to work at the paper mill without an ounce of sleep. People think things come easy. But we had to work," she said.
The restaruant has seen a lot of history. It survived recessions, city-leadership changes, and even a tornado in 2004.
"When I first opened the Pearl Street store, Ed Austin used to come and get a beef sandwich, a side of coleslaw, a diet coke and sit down and read his paper."
Jenkins Quality Barbecue also helped sponsor a lot of local teams, including the Edward Waters track team. "He was a very good-hearted man, he was very determined and hard working, and he did not give up," said Jenkins-Dubois.
And they say Melton Jenkins' passion of good food and his community is what will live on, in and out of the kitchen. There are three Jenkins Quality Barbecue locations in Jacksonville.
Funeral services have been scheduled for Melton Jenkins Jr.
Calling hours are Monday, January 7, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, January 8, at 11 a.m.
Both services will be held at First New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, located at 4835 Soutel Drive.