Joe and Maranda Dowell have been serving good food spiced with friendly hospitality to their friends, family and the general public for many years. Initially, the Dowells traveled extensively to fairs, conventions and sports events, serving seafood fried in a special batter Joe had created. Eventually, they decided to go into the restaurant business. In 1998, with financial backing by Joe’s parents, they opened four restaurants, two in Atlanta, and two in New Orleans. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and they were forced to close two restaurants. Never ones to give in to difficulty or run from a challenge, Joe and Maranda decided to refocus their efforts into packaging and selling the special seasoning mixture that had won so many loyal fans over the years.
In 2007, Joe’s Gourmet, LLC was incorporated and the Dowells resumed their travels, holding numerous promotional events for Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry—that delectable mixture of cornmeal and wheat flour enhanced with herbs, spices and flavorings.
An October 15, 2014, press release regarding the opening of Wayfield Food Market in Fayetteville, Georgia, noted: “…. location was buzzing with energy surrounding a new product in store. The Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry brand made its local debut in stores and the results were very impressive. So impressive that the brand was asked to introduce the product at a new location this upcoming week.”
Since then, Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry has begun to appear in many larger food retailers, including Publix, HEB, Meijer, and Kroger. In May of 2017, Joe’s Gourmet participated in the National Restaurant Association convention, and in August, 2017, mega retailer, WalMart, announced it would now be carrying Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry. It is also available on Amazon and through the Joe’s Gourmet website.
Joe’s Gourmet is a family business and Joe and Maranda consider themselves blessed to be able to share good food and home cooking with others. One of the ways they share their good fortune is by volunteering once a month at Safe House, a local non-profit organization feeding people in need.