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Paulee’s Place II Brings An Authentic Taste of the Islands to Marietta

To Celebrate Black History Month, First Data Profiles a Proud Black-Owned Business & First Data Client, Paulee’s Place II in Marietta, GA

 

If one were to describe the cuisine of Paulee’s Place II in Marietta, GA in a single word, that word would be “authentic.”

Indeed, many have said as much on the Caribbean-flavored restaurant’s online reviews, with other prevailing impressions being noted as no-nonsense, casual, welcoming, and warm—all words that describe the cuisine and atmosphere of Paulee’s Place II, as well as its proprietor, Paule Kahn.

An immigrant from Haiti, Paule always loved to cook, learning traditional dishes like goat, fried fish, jerk chicken, and griot (a traditional Haitian fried pork dish) at her grandmother’s side in the kitchen growing up.

But it took a winding road through Florida, a career as a security guard, a marriage to her husband Steve, and a great number of private parties before Paule was finally inspired to take her down-home Caribbean cooking pro.

“In 2008, me and my husband sat down and we talked about it [opening a restaurant] because we have a little group [who gets] together, they always came to my house and they always want me to cook,” Paule recalled in a recent conversation.

“We used to cater parties and we used to throw parties in our house. [And] every time they have a party, they want me to bring the food,” Paule said.

“So I decided—that’s it—I should open my own place so they can order it from [there].”

And since opening in 2012, Paule has been doing just that—serving up oxtail, fried fish, collard greens, rice and beans, cabbage, plantains, mac and cheese—and order upon order of jerk chicken.

“Especially jerk chicken,” noted Paule when asked about signature dishes. “We always have to have it so people take it every day.”

When looking at reviews of Paulee’s Place online, it’s easy to see that the jerk chicken is a standout at Paulee’s, with many reviewers noting the spiciness and flavor of the chicken dish. Danny H. of Marietta, GA said on Yelp, “If you’re a fan of flavor/some spice along with some friendly service you’re in the right spot.”

When asked about where she gets her signature seasonings, Paule replied, “I make my own seasons. [I’d have a hard time trying to] write it down for somebody, but I make my own pretty much.”

That homespun attention to detail, inspired by countless years in the kitchen at her grandmother’s side, is what gives Paule’s food its signature flavor.

 

“Sometimes I watch a cooking show on TV, but then I think that [whatever they make] my grandma would make it better,” Paule says with a laugh.

 

When asked about whom, aside from her grandmother, inspires her cooking, Paule often turns back to praising the family matriarch’s meals as her primary inspiration. “Sometimes I watch a cooking show on TV, but then I think that [whatever they make] my grandma would make it better,” Paule says with a laugh.

Today, business at Paulee’s Place II is brisk, with Paule and her staff of 4 or 5 taking care of both front of house and cooking duties, but things weren’t always so rosy at Paulee’s Place.

“It was not easy to start. But when you own a business, when it’s something you want, something you love to do, you’re going to take your time and enjoy [it] until you see them [customers] coming. Plus I heard from my husband that a business doesn’t grow in a day . . . so it was very hard, but we took it slow.”

A false start and some employee problems at the original location in Douglasville had Paule looking for a new location, and after Paulee’s Place II began to take off, Paule and husband Steve decided the first location was better off closed.

Now, Paulee’s Place II is a family affair, with husband Steve (who moonlights as a First Data business consultant) helping with the business of running the restaurant, and two kids helping out around the shop on weekends and time off school.

Indeed, Paule’s daughter Amy has been instrumental in helping Paule get up to speed on Paulee’s Place II’s Clover unit. Having the Clover in the shop for around a year, Paule and Amy can’t say enough good things about the touch screen point-of-sale system.

 

“Sometimes I’ll be home and look up sales and watch to see if there are any mistakes made—I can correct it from where I am . . . I love it.”

 

“Sometimes when she’s here on the Clover—which she loves, the Clover—she will sit down and [ring up customers] and talk to them and tell them they can text their receipt or email their receipt to them.”

“I was a little bit confused the first time, but after my daughter, she knows—you know kids—so she was helping me a lot. But after that [at first] we figured it out, so it’s pretty much easy for me. Most of the menu is on there—we just press it and it goes in and finds the person. It’s really convenient,” Paule said.

Whether managing employee time cards or tracking sales, the fact that the Clover is networked that helps Paule the most.

“Sometimes I’ll be home and look up sales and watch to see if there are any mistakes made—I can correct it from where I am.  We [also] do the reports—we can pull the reports, [do] the backup, and the taxes too, in there. Pretty much all of the things we do in Clover. I love it.”

With an eye on expansion to multiple locations in the coming years, a state of the art point-of-sale system will be important to running the business, but when it comes down to it, it’s still the food—and the smiles it inspires—that makes it all worthwhile for Paule.

“I love it when people come in the place, they enjoy the food, they’re talking about it, and they go to their office and say good things, good comments. They finish eating, they go on [online review site] sometimes . . . they put it on [social networking sites], they send it to their friends. People sometimes drive more than an hour to come and enjoy a good meal . . . and I love that.”