Sheron Grant grew up in Jamaica watching her grandmother, Florence Harding, sprinkle pimento seeds and thyme into a Dutch pot over a coal burning stove.
Her daughters, Nyesha MekaDayz and Tanisha SunnyMarz Hamil (Sunny), danced and sang with the community of Crawford Street in Montego Bay — a family born to cook, sing, and dance.
“We were very poor, sometimes 15 people would share one pot,” says Nyesha. But whatever the family lacked in coin, they made up for in talent. “On Saturdays, grandmother would cook chicken skin over high heat to render the fat because we couldn’t afford cooking oil,” says Sunny. “But soon, people would be banging huge plastic drums with wooden sticks, singing and dancing in a big street party.”
That joyful spirit is alive at 11Hauz, a family-owned restaurant that serves up authentic Jamaican food with recipes passed down from Florence, a master chef for the Chins and Changs (a Jamaican-Chinese family). Sheron serves as head chef. “Mom can make magic,” says Sunny. “Her hands are food gold. She touches it and it’s euphoria in your mouth.”
Around 33 years ago, Sheron moved to New York City to be a nanny. The family lived in Brooklyn where they served their Jamaican fare at the BAM Next Wave Festival. In 2004, Sheron was hired as a baby nurse and moved the family to Park City. “People always loved our food, but we never thought of owning a restaurant,” says Nyesha. “But when we came here, we realized we could build a family legacy.”
The family opened 11Hauz in 2018. “We’re Jamaican. We love cooking as a family, so we decided to throw some spice into Park City,” says Nyesha. “Come vibe, feel loved, and leave happy.”
Everything about 11Hauz exudes warmth and joy. “Jamaica is a festive place — there’s lots of spirituality and culture, singing and dancing to make our days brighter,” says Sunny. “Tek yuh hand’ mek fashion means take your hands and make something. For us, that meant creating a delicious dinner out of scraps.
If you’re lucky, you may hear the family singing while they cook. Errol Grant (Sheron’s husband) was the lead singer of The Patwa Reggae Band. Sunny is a fashion designer and she and her daughter Yaya both have songs available on all platforms, while Nyesha teaches dancehall reggae classes at the Millennium Dance Complex and trains the dancehall dance troupe Le Pumz (Sunny helps with creative direction).
Seemingly in perpetual motion, the family always finds time for gratitude and humility. “We’re so proud of our mom, she dropped out of high school at 15 years to take care of her mother,” says Sunny. “She is the roots of everything we have accomplished in life.”