From Truck Driver to Restaurant Owner – Jordan Jepma’s Restaurant Ride

The road to opening Jordan’s Divine Dish Restaurant and Catering in Norwich was a long one for the owner who travelled thousand of kilometers to finally arrive at his destination.

Jordan Jepma opened the restaurant in June of this year and in doing so realized a goal he has had for years. “It has always been a dream of mine to own a restaurant, even at a young age. We are going to keep it, carry on, and see how it goes here in Norwich.” This isn’t his first foray into the food business. In 2019 Jordan purchased a trailer called ‘Divine-o-Mite’ and operated it for two years, but it just wasn’t what he wanted to do. “I didn’t really like the food truck scene. There was a lot of pick up and go all the time, travel here, travel there. We were looking for a while for a house and restaurant combo and someone mentioned this (site), we looked at it, and put an offer in.” Jordan and his family had called Princeton home before making the move to Norwich.

Jordan’s journey in the culinary world began as a truck driver for a familiar eatery. “I had a job trucking for a great company, Tim Hortons, when I was 20. While working there my wife was able to finish university as a human resource professional and now works for a local school board. I was then able to attend night school at Liaison College where I trained as a chef, and I worked various places at night training. In 2015 we started our own catering business which grew from there.”

One look at the restaurant’s menu is enough to make anyone’s mouth water, and Jordan says the biggest influence in his style of cooking came from travelling with his family. “Our menu is different in ways as you can still get burgers and poutines, but also sit down for a freshly cooked comfort food meal. I would best describe it as a spin off from southern cuisine. I try and keep it as fresh and local as possible.” He adds the southern influence comes from spending time in the USA. “We used to do a lot of travelling to the states before COVID. We would take drives to certain areas and check out the cuisine. I just fell in love with the southern style. The meats, something like bread pudding which no one puts on the menu today.”

Jordan and his wife, Gemma, have been married 17 years and along with their 15-year-old daughter Lana, the family are a team, and each have roles in the restaurant. “Gemma handles the paperwork for the business. She also helps serve at night as does my daughter.” 17-year-old son Anthony also helps occasionally and the family connection to the business doesn’t end there. “My parents believed in me and my dream and helped by renovating our old bunkhouse into a catering facility which I still greatly appreciate.” The couple went to the same high school with Jordan growing up in the Harley area on a tobacco and ginseng farm while Gemma was raised in Burford.

For more information on Jordan’s Divine Dish Restaurant and Catering, click here to visit their website.