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Meet Krimsey Ramsey of Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Krimsey Ramsey.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Krimsey. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 2015, I left my Petroleum Engineering career to move across the country and settle in Los Angeles. My mission was to help make plant-based foods more mainstream, flavorful, and accessible. During my first year in L.A., I experimented with catering, cookbook writing, and pop-up events in hopes of one day opening my own restaurant. In 2016, I found an old deli space in the San Fernando Valley that looked perfect for a boot-strapped Cajun Vegan restaurant concept. On Mardi Gras 2017 (Feb 28, 2017), I took the plunge and opened Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen–the World’s First Cajun Vegan restaurant! With the help of friends and family, everything was self-renovated (from floor to ceiling) and all of the furniture and decor was either reclaimed or re-purposed! It was definitely a “shoestring budget” kind of project. My sister, Jess, even hand-painted a custom Louisiana mural on the back wall.

Our first restaurant space didn’t last long—within six months, we began to run out of seating during peak hours and the kitchen was practically caving in on itself due to the lack of working space. By chance, a larger corner space opened up in the same shopping center, and we jumped on it! Now, we are able to serve many more guests and we have also expanded our menu due to our larger kitchen.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It most definitely has not been a smooth road! The path has been lined with many twists and turns, but I believe that the ability to “pivot” your plans is what leads to success. The struggle began when I abandoned my career—most people assumed I must have lost my mind! From there, the long & tough days of the food business began. Trying new dishes, getting feedback, and adjusting recipes was a long process. After opening, I found myself working ~20 hour days; overworked and dealing with all the things that new restaurant owners find themselves dealing with (hiring struggles, operational issues, building/equipment repairs, etc.). However, all of this lead to me gaining a better understanding of how to delegate, manage, and scale.

Please tell us about Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen.
We are the world’s first Cajun Vegan restaurant. We specialize in authentic Cajun dishes that are all 100% vegan, and we’re most well-known for our Poboys, Jambalaya, hushpuppies, and beignets. We are proud of the diverse and authentic community we’ve attracted with our delicious menu and caring Krewe. We care about each other, which makes us better able to care for our guests!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have been kinder to myself and spent more time enjoying my creation instead of stressing over the unimportant details.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sandwich hands – Mercy for Animals, Chairs/bar shot – Justin Rosenberg

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