Jo Jo's Kitchen Brings Country Cooking to Hazelwood

The diner has been open in Hazelwood for two months. Co-owner Dawn Bonin sat down to speak with 'Hazelwood Patch' about opening in Hazelwood.

Dawn Bonin is pleasantly surprised with the success of she and her husband Senol's first food business venture. A business she described as his dream.

Located inside a small strip mall on Howdershell Road across from the , you wouldn't expect a small diner with warm welcoming staff, but there you have it.

Just two months after opened in the , come on any given morning and you'll find a packed house.

"This is all my husband," she said. "He has always wanted to have a restaurant and he was the one looking for a place.

"He made it happen."

Dawn said the process from the decision to start the diner to opening day was a quick one.

"It was a five-month process," she said. "He did all the remodeling himself, and we were were going to auctions to buy restaurant equipment."

Dawn works full-time for an area company, so it's up to Senol to be the full-time manager.

"I work on the weekends, and bring our kids in to help out," Dawn said. "It's been wonderful so far."

As Dawn sits and describes the small business process, the aroma of pancakes and sausage fill the air. Almost all of the tables in the small space are filled and a large group of 10 is waiting to sit down for morning coffee talk.

Although Jo Jo's Kitchen has a steady stream of customers, marketing has been mostly word-of-mouth. Dawn said she passed out fliers at the Valley of the Flowers and stopped through area churches.

She describes the food as home-style comfort food and emphasizes the breakfast menu as being most popular.

"My favorite dish would be the Mediterranean omelet," she said. "I never had it until the restaurant opened. My husband never cooked it at home."

Jo Jo's Kitchen also now serves a dinner menu on Thursday, Friday and Saturday's, on top of the breakfast and lunch menus.

"Our first week was probably the slowest," Dawn said. "But our customers seem to be pleased.

"They like that the place is small and that we are local."

Gabrielle July 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Can't wait to try this new place! Yummy!!
Chris Charboneau July 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM
We have beehn there twice for breakfast and its very good. They have all the classics with a friendly staff. One thought, kids menu.
Angela Atkinson July 13, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Thanks for sharing your experiences! I can't wait to try JoJo's!
Ashley July 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM
The staff is super friendly and the Mediterranean omelet IS yummy!


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