pictured: Evangela “Van” Stanley above, with Mayor Warren who presented her with a Key to the City. Pictured right, Ms. Stanley with two of her employees.
Congratulations goes out to local restaurant owner Evangela “Van” Stanley of Peoples Choice Restaurant who is celebrating 20 years in business!
Here is her story in her own words:
“My son’s father, Mark Walker, always wanted to open a restaurant in Rochester, New York. His mom had a restaurant in Jamaica and he wanted to open one here. We opened in 2001 on Chili Avenue for 15 years – ten of those years at 507 Chili and five years at 651 Chili Ave. We are currently located at 575 Brooks Avenue at the corner of Thurston Road.
“The love of community keeps me going and it’s not a job for me. I love giving back and coming in every day. This is what I do. I really take pride in my cooking and seeing customers expressions when they see their food. My son Egypt continues to get involved more in the family business as we grow our product line. Our Jerk Sauce is now sold in all 29 Salvatore Pizzerias, and our latest partnership with Boss Sauce, who bottles and distributes my Jerk Sauce, can be purchased at many meat markets in Monroe County.”
“I thank God from whom all blessings flow and without Him none of this would be possible. I’m driven about keeping me and my son’s legacy alive.”
Van’s advice to young people thinking about getting into business? “Be driven. This is like a marriage , a union. You’ve got to have a great work ethic, a love for people and community, and love working, because I have been at it 20 years and it just seems like a few years . I’m truly a workaholic!”
Stop by Rochester’s legendary Peoples Choice Restaurant at 575 Brooks Ave and congratulate Evangela Van Stanley and her talented team on successfully withstanding the test of time. And be sure to get yourself some delicious comfort food made with love! Van’s specialty is her jerk chicken. People’s Choice is also known for its famous Jerk Chicken Salad. Call (585) 464-8790 to order or for more information.
-Submitted by George Radney