FUQUAY-VARINA — When a fire destroyed Jus Enuff Home Cookin last November, owner Cindy Johnson wasnt sure the business would recover.
I had insurance, she said, but not enough.
Johnson said she would have given up entirely had it not been for the encouragement of her customers.
People would tell me they couldnt wait until we were open again, and that it wasnt the same without us, she said.
So Johnson dug into her own pockets to finance the rebuild. She survived on her husbands income during the long process of restoring the restaurant on North Main Street in Fuquay-Varina.
Jus Enuff reopened in May, nearly seven months after the fire.
It couldnt come soon enough for some.
We opened at 5 a.m., and there were people in camping chairs waiting at 3:30, Johnson said.
Inside, those loyal customers found an updated interior with a new color scheme and the welcoming atmosphere that they had been missing.
And the Southern-style menu didnt change Johnson said she didnt dare.
Biscuits and gravy and pancakes are still popular, as are two long-time favorites: Fuquay (two eggs and bacon, sausage or red hots) and Varina (two eggs, two pancakes and bacon, sausage or red hots).
Johnson said business has improved since the reopening. On a typical morning, she said, regular customers are sipping coffee by 4:30 a.m., a half-hour before breakfast service begins.
We have a whole different clientele than we had before, she said. Lots of folks didnt know we were here before, but they saw us on the news and came in.
The eatery had eight employees prior to the fire; now it has 12.
Business is good, Johnson said. I needed extra help.
Community is important to Johnson, and she tries to give back when she can. On Friday, Aug. 23, Jus Enuff will host a barbecue fundraiser to benefit a longtime customer.
Larry Honeycutt has been hospitalized most of the summer with complications from diabetes, and he was recently moved to a hospice facility.
He was in here every day, Johnson said. We want to help.
Barbecue plates will be sold for $9, and all proceeds will go to help Honeycutt.
Johnson said she wont forget the support she has received.
I want to thank Fuquay-Varina and the surrounding areas for the community spirit that helped me to get back open, she said. I was born and raised here. Its where I belong.