JP Graham-Townsend, Huey’s Downtown Assistant Manager, has been with us for 15 years! Read below to learn about this outdoorsman, dad and awesome employee.
What has been your favorite part about working at Huey’s?
At Downtown, we get to meet a diverse group of people. When I worked at the Southwind location for about 10 years, we had more regulars than anything, and that’s one thing I always loved, because regulars end up becoming family. Even some of the regulars I knew for years at Southwind now work Downtown and I get to see them there.
One of my other favorite things about Huey’s is the fact that it’s a family – it’s not just a job. I grew up with Huey’s, and it was the first restaurant job I ever had. It will probably be the only restaurant job I will ever have, because I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
I’ve seen companies come and go, but I’ve never seen companies that treat their employees as family, and we are a family here. I can’t thank this company enough for taking care of me when the times are low, and at the same time being there when the times are happy to celebrate wonderful parts of life. I just really appreciate everything this company has done, not only for me but the employees who work for them. Their father (*Huey’s late owner, Thomas Boggs. The company is now run by his daughters) was that way. Thomas knew every single employee’s name, not only their names, but their kids’ name and when they took their SATs. I was just baffled by his memory. And then turn around, and it’s the exact same way with his daughters. Everyone has a name. They ask how you’re doing, and they care about your life. They’ve always gone above and beyond.
What’s the best part of working in the restaurant industry?
Huey’s is such a staple in Memphis, and being at the Downtown location, I’ve gotten to know so many Memphis managers, bar owners, and restaurant owners. It goes back to that family atmosphere that we all help each other out, we’re all in that line of contact. I get random phone calls from other managers or store owners who run ideas past me or ask for advice. They say, “How are you handling this? How are you doing? Do you need anything?” We’ve all just become a family together.
What’s your best memory from your time at Huey’s?
I would have to say my favorite memories were with a former Huey’s manager named Mike. He’s the one that actually hired me in Southwind, and we both had this strange little condition where we both shake. My hands shake, and I was self-conscience about it until my interview. During the interview, he asked if I was nervous. I told him not really, and he said he noticed I was shaking. I mentioned the condition and he goes, “Oh my gosh! I think I have the same thing.” So I always called him my shaking brother. I lived in Midtown and grew up in Midtown, so I would just pop in to the Midtown location and ask to see my shakin’ brother. He also lived across the street, so my fondest memories would probably be riding my bike down the street, stopping by and visiting with Mike on the front porch, right in front of the Midtown location.
What is a fun fact about you?
I’m an avid outdoorsman that loves to kayak, and I am constantly looking forward to my next trip out in the middle of nowhere.