We had the good fortune of connecting with Jimmy Everett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jimmy, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind the success of Driftwood has certainly been the people that we involve ourselves with. Everyone from our team members, purveyors, producers and repair technicians to our community and our guests. The relationships that we build with people is what allows us to continue to grow in a healthy sustainable way. When starting our own business, my wife, Ilia and I, went into it with the understanding that success would be a result of our own hard work, determination and grit. Those things definitely allowed us to survive the first couple years of opening, but we realized that there was only so far we could go on our own. We went through a long period of doing what we needed to just get by before understanding the importance of fully investing and developing our relationships with those we work with.
We always look at it as building our family, whether it’s hiring a new team member, working with a new farm, or welcoming first time guests into our restaurant. We work very hard to create a culture that encourages, growth, sustainability, balance and positive vibes. When we are working with people that agree with our values, it becomes very easy to produce great food, drinks and service while having a blast doing so.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I can appreciate art in many ways. Obviously as a chef, creating a new, unique dish is usually what comes to mind. I can equally appreciate the art of a smooth service with no issues and everyone is having fun. That is likely much more difficult to achieve that that new dish. I thoroughly enjoy the creativity required in using a lot of the same local products that we see in new and different ways. There’s also an art to maintaining a business through a pandemic and some of the sharpest expense increases most of us have ever seen. I’ve recently been working on much needed improvements around the restaurant from landscaping, concrete work, building new tabletops etc.. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges of learning new things and finding creative outlets in things not involved around food but more the overall guest experience. I’m fulfilled doing anything that is continuing to build and grow our restaurant, sometimes that’s with working on new food or drink items, sometimes its fixing the toilet. I enjoy anything that is making us better. It’s important to me that whatever it is that I’m doing, to always do it the best I can.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When I have friends visit, most of the time is usually spent catching up on my back porch with some beers. I would definitely have them for dinner at Driftwood one of the nights. Likely there would be a fishing trip involved either offshore or at the Boynton Inlet. If it was friend that was up for going out, the best meals I’ve had recently were at Buccan, Stage and Sassafras though we may try to check out some of the newly opened spots that I haven’t made it to yet. The Silverball Museum in Delray is always a fun time as well.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m very grateful to have an amazing team at Driftwood that inspires and supports me everyday. It’s important for me to do the same for them. My wife, Ilia, brings me balance that makes everything work. The whole Driftwood family from our team, farms, producers and guests motivate me to do better everyday.
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