The day Jerry Love first met longtime Huey’s owner Thomas Boggs is a memory Jerry will never forget.
30 years ago, Jerry realized he needed to get a job closer to home after growing weary of walking miles and miles to work every day. The day he started looking for a new job, he had only $1 to his name and 50₵ of that went to his bus fare. At the end of a long day of walking from business to business with no luck, he was exhausted and hungry but told himself to put in one last application.
The next business he came to was Huey’s Midtown. It was there that Jerry first laid eyes on Thomas Boggs, who was sitting at the end of the bar eating. When Jerry approached him and said he was checking if they were hiring, Thomas promptly said, “how soon can you start?” Jerry started working the very next day as a line cook, and the rest is history.
Jerry believes part of that generosity and understanding came from Thomas’s childhood. He once told Jerry that as a child, he recalled asking his mother why their lights wouldn’t turn on. After his mother told him they didn’t have enough money to pay the bills at the time, Thomas swore that if he ever owned a business he would make sure his staff always had enough to pay their bills.
In his 30 years at Huey’s, Jerry has worked at all nine of its current locations and is already gearing up to work at the 10th location in Olive Branch when it opens in November.
He takes pride in all the work he does in the Huey’s kitchen and is known for saying “of course [the food] is good. It was cooked with love, by Love!” He always wants to make sure their customers are taken care of and wanted to make sure all of Huey’s guests know just how important they are to making Huey’s what it is today.
“I wouldn’t be here without the customers,” he said. “I was down to my last hope and wouldn’t have made it without them. They’re the reason I was able to buy a house and raise my kids. I was told I would never be able to buy a house and provide for my family by working at a restaurant, but Huey’s proved them wrong.”
Family always comes first with Jerry, which isn’t surprising since he and his wife Louise both come from large families. Together they had five boys and six girls, who have now blessed the couple with 59 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren! When he’s not at work or spending time with his family, you’ll often find Jerry at Temple of Praise Church, where Jerry has also served as an assistant pastor.
To this day, Jerry says, “I wouldn’t work anywhere else, even if someone offered me a million dollars to change jobs. I owe it to Thomas and the Boggs family.”
Jerry is supposed to retire next year… in theory. He said he’s not sure how he’ll ever be able to leave his Huey’s family and jokes that the Boggs sisters wouldn’t let him leave anyway. But whenever that day comes, Jerry has a big plan.
On his last day, Jerry plans to reenact that famous first walk, traveling all along the original path that led him to Huey’s. Once he makes it to the original Huey’s location in Midtown, he plans to have Alex Boggs – the eldest son and spitting image of Thomas Boggs – sitting in that same place at the end of the bar, ready to welcome Jerry.
Thank you for these wonderful stories and for letting Huey’s be part of your journey these past 30 years, Jerry!