Fiddler’s Restaurant & Catering
Jim and Joyce Hunt have been serving fine food to their customers for many years. Jim Hunt was born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. At the age of 15 he landed a job in food service as a busboy, at the Sharon Hotel on South Miami Beach. At the age of 16, he worked at the first McDonald’s on Miami Beach.
In 1972 his family moved to Perry to mange the Perry Square Shopping Center and open the Firestone tire store. Jim worked with his father but soon found he was not cut out for the mechanic’s role.
McDonald’s opened their store in 1974 and Jim became the store’s new manager, a position that he held for 9 years until the owner sold the store.
In 1977 Jim married Joyce Stewart who had worked with him at McDonald’s, and who was born and raised in Perry. Jim and Joyce now have two children, Jared who is 31, and Jill who is 26.
In 1984, Jim partnered with the former owner of McDonald’s and opened “B.J.’s”, their first full service restaurant. Jim managed this establishment until he was offered a the institutional food service contract with the Proctor and Gamble Foley Plant in Perry. He opened “The Hard Hat Cafe” in the plant.
Over the years, Jim augmented his business with vending and catering outside the mill, doing wedding receptions, business dinners, and other gatherings. So when Jim and Joyce had the opportunity to acquire the Old Cooey’s Restaurant property on the Steinhatchee River, friends and customers urged them to give the public a chance to sample Jim’s fine recipes. When they came to look at the building, which had been unused for 10 years, there were fiddler crabs every where, inside and out! So Fiddlers Restaurant came to life under the loving touch of the Hunt family with a lot of help from friends and relatives.
Fiddlers remains a family operation. Jared is the manager. Jill works part time as a waitress, while she is going to college. Joyce manages the office and front of the house, while Jim who loves to cook and serve people, takes care of the back of the house. They are all very proud to have been a part of Steinhatchee for the last 10 years and it shows!
When you come to Steinhatchee whether it be for fishing, scalloping, boating or all of these fun things, be sure to stop in at Fiddlers to say hello and enjoy some great cuisine!