New franchise comes to Spring Lake

By ELIOT DUKE
Of the Record staff
Posted 6/25/21

SPRING LAKE — Jahmane Bess waited his turn.

With a career in the Marines over, Bess wasn’t sure where the next chapter in his life would lead. That all changed when a high school …

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New franchise comes to Spring Lake

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SPRING LAKE — Jahmane Bess waited his turn.

With a career in the Marines over, Bess wasn’t sure where the next chapter in his life would lead. That all changed when a high school friend extended an offer.

“We always kept in contact,” Bess said. “He reached out to me when I was getting out [of the service] and told me to come to Houston. I didn’t know what I was going to do at the time, I had no restaurant experience. He threw me into the fire.”

Bess headed for Texas in 2017 to work for the friend who started in the business operating a food truck. Two years later, Bess helped oversee the opening of the first brick-and-mortar Krab Kingz restaurant.

He spent the next few years getting other Krab Kingz franchises throughout the Midwest and Texas off the ground, waiting for the chance to switch roles.
Bess’ turn finally came.

On April 30, Bess and his family celebrated the grand opening of their own Krab Kingz franchise in Spring Lake, culminating years of hard work.

“This is the product of it,” said Bess. “I’ve been all over and it’s finally my turn.”

Bess originally set his sights on Winston-Salem, but, in 2020, Spring Lake reached out with a ready-made proposal. With family already in the area, Bess found his fit.

“Spring Lake needed something,” Bess said. “Fayetteville was pretty much saturated, so we came out here because there’s nothing really like this. Spring Lake said they wanted to have my business here. They were a big help as well.”

Plans started coming together during the COVID-19 pandemic as many restaurants struggled under health and safety restrictions, but Bess stayed the course.

“I thought that by the time we got opened everything would be back on track,” said Bess. “I was just keeping that in mind that everything was going to pick back up. I wanted to be ready when it did.”

Growing up a vegetarian, Bess couldn’t envision himself owning a seafood restaurant. Once he saw the potential, Bess found it easy to share his enthusiasm with other franchisees.

“I never really ate seafood,” Bess said. “My first experience eating seafood was this, and I was like ‘I’m sold.’ It’s very family based. We’re focused on small businesses and getting people involved. It’s good to see all the people who have bought into the system. We want to bring something special to Spring Lake.”

Now that Bess entered the world of ownership, he discovered what many restaurants currently are dealing with: a lack of good help.

“There are a few people who still want to work but it has been hard,” said Bess. “We’re trying to groom what we have. We’re going to keep training them and figure out what their strengths are.”

As a steady flow of customers and positive word-of-mouth lay a solid foundation for success, Bess said the focus will be on providing a consistent product the public can come to expect.

“We want to give each customer the same thing, the same flavor so they know this is Krab Kingz,” Bess said. “We’re more personal and focused on quality.”

Eliot Duke can be reached at eduke@mydailyrecord.com or at 910-230-2038.

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