Jinnie’s Story- Book Six, Chapter Thirty

The Funeral

WorthingGooner, Going Postal

The Trattoria Trevi board voted unanimously to proceed with the test Sybaritic accepting that it was a concept worth trying. Alberto pointed out that the income they were generating from their current lines meant that they could easily afford to risk the £250,000 the spreadsheet said they would need to find for the first branch. Brian collared Jinnie after the meeting and asked, “Did you really produce that spreadsheet?” “Yes,” said Jinnie, “I designed it, set it up and made it work. But Dad did make it look pretty, but it is basically mine.” “Well done,” said Brian, “I couldn’t have done anything better.” “Thank you,” said Jinnie. “Now, Brian, I think we should be setting up ‘Sybaritic’ as a company before someone else takes the name. How do we do it?” “I think we set up Trattoria Trevi (Sybaritic) Limited as a 100% owned subsidiary of Trattoria Trevi (Holdings). Then we set up Sybaritic (North Finchley) Limited as a 100% subsidiary of Trattoria Trevi (Sybaritic) Limited and we register ‘Sybaritic’ as a trademark. I am on it.”

That morning Jinnie had received a letter from P&O saying she was invited to a meeting at Carnival House in Southampton. They wished to explore the possibility of offering ‘Artisan Sandwiches’ from a counter in their buffet restaurants. They suggested the agenda for the meeting should include an introduction to each company; method of working, sandwich station design and operations; quality control; license fee; contract terms and conditions. Finally, it asked her to confirm the names and positions held by all those attending the meeting for the production of security passes. Jinnie first checked her online diary, and she had nothing booked on the proposed date. Then she checked Brooke’s diary and it said, ‘Monthly Report’. Of course, she needed Brian, his diary said ‘Crawley’. The final person she needed would be Belinda as the agenda said sandwich station design. Her diary ‘16:30 meeting with Miranda re bumper cars’. That made Jinnie wonder if that was work or pleasure. Jinnie sent them all a meeting invitation via the Trattoria Trevi diary system: ‘Time: 09:00. Place: P&O Cruises, Carnival House, Southampton. Meeting Purpose: Artisan Sandwich outlet on P&O Cruise Ships.’ Under notes Jinnie added the agenda and wrote due to the early start I suggest we stay the night before at the Ennios Boutique Hotel. It is within a few hundred yards of the P&O offices and has an Italian restaurant with an excellent reputation for us to have dinner and compare to TT. There is no car parking so I will organise train travel. This is an important business opportunity so please attend.’

Within moments of sending the invitation, Brooke had accepted and a minute later she rang Jinnie’s mobile. “I really didn’t think they would bite,” said Brooke, “Are we really catching the train?” “Yes,” replied Jinnie, “Parking in Southampton is notoriously bad and a cab to and from the station will be lost in the hotel bill.” “What do you mean?” asked Brooke. Jinnie chuckled and said, “I have chosen one of only two five-star hotels in the city centre and the restaurant is more expensive than the Trattoria Trevi. It only has eleven rooms and I have reserved three, I don’t think Brian and Belinda will mind sharing! That way it all goes on the Trattoria Trevi expenses, and I don’t have trouble with Belinda not being a TT employee and don’t forget I sign off the expenses!

Brian was next to ring, “What have you been up to now?” he asked. Jinnie told him the story of the woman on the plane home at Christmas asking if she had been negotiating a sandwich outlet on the ship, and how if their sandwiches were good enough for the royal family, they were good enough for anyone. Brian laughed and asked if she was going to apply for a Royal Warrant. Jinnie said, “I have never thought about it, perhaps I should ask the Queen when I next see her. I can see the plaque over the door ‘Artisan Sandwiches Limited, purveyors of sliced egg and tomato sandwiches to Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte.’” Brain laughed deeply and said, “I don’t think for a moment it would say that, changing the subject, count Belinda and me in, she was going to have a chat with Miranda about setting up bumper car tracks at next year’s Christmas parties. Apparently, she knows someone called Paul who hires out bumper cars, inflatable sumo suits, adult bouncy castles and other things. She is thinking of trying out the dodgems at one of next year’s Christmas parties. Probably the Showgrounds as they have loads of space. The idea is to bring in more money by selling tickets to drunken partygoers.”

“She has already done a deal with Paul to supply adult and children bouncy castles and sumo suits to wedding receptions, children’s and garden parties, as an extra, starting this spring.” continued Brian. “What if it rains?” asked Jinnie, “Who wants to go on a bouncy castle then?” “Apparently, he also has indoor versions ideal for receptions in schools, community centres and church halls. It’s a legit business, he supplies safety mats, has full insurance and all that. Mind you, I’m not sure a battle by the bride and groom in sumo suits will ever surpass the first dance. But she has bookings for the bouncy castles already. Apparently, the Barbie disco one is very popular.” “I must be getting old,” said Jinnie, “but the twins would love it.”

“I’m in Crawley tomorrow for the board meeting, can we get together and talk about our pitch to P&O, I rather fancy a franchise-type deal, where they supply everything except the name, menus, recipes and quality checks. We also need to have control over the outlet design. Let’s kick it around with Belinda and Brooke, we could meet in the construction division office at say 2:30, after the board meeting and lunch.”


Patrica rang Jinnie to say she was delighted with progress at Aunty JoJo’s Brixton. They had made small amounts of fried chicken, jerk chicken, fries, wraps and desserts which had been consumed by the staff and she had found it up to her high standards. Yesterday they had tried a much bigger quantity and had supplied a local Caribbean old people’s lunch club with over 100 portions of Aunty JoJo’s recipe fried chicken and chips with sides of corn and beans, and special apple pies. The organiser of the lunch club had been more than happy to get a free lunch to serve and reported that the pensioners and staff had eaten every scrap and wanted to know if they could have it again.

Jinnie asked, “Is Brooke with you?” “I’m here,” said Brooke, “The call is on loudspeaker.” “Brooke, can you get someone from your team to talk to the organisers of the lunch club and organise that we supply them with lunch, say once a month at cost. I see a number of advantages, good publicity if we leak it to the media I can talk to Bill Furr. Then the old people will tell friends, relatives, neighbours and we get known in the area. But I like the idea that we use them as a test for new products. I don’t know if you are aware, but Monica wants to expand our dessert offerings and had a long list of ideas. We could have a built-in consumer panel who don’t realise that they are.”

“I’m on it boss,” said Brooke. Jinnie continued, “I like the look of the site in Ladbroke Grove, can you run with it? I have a huge amount on at the moment, just keep me updated. I will be sending you a new spreadsheet we have developed for costing future restaurants across the group. It’s still in prototype but we have just used it for a new restaurant venture, and it was very helpful. Now, have you decided when you are opening?” “Yes,” chorused Patricia and Brooke. Brooke continued, “We are now going for the soft opening on Saturday, we will just open the door, put the lights on and turn the sign on the door to open. Then we have the official opening on Monday at ten o’clock, which I hope you will be at. The mayor is cutting a red ribbon across the door, and I hear a lot of press are coming, but I think free food for the first 30 minutes is the real draw.” “I’ll be there early,” said Jinnie, “I’ll be on the train with the commuters, it’ll be like old times.”


Early on Sunday morning Jinnie was phoned by Brooke to report on the previous day’s soft opening. She reported they switched the sign to open at nine-thirty and at first nothing happened, and they wondered of it was going to be a disaster. Then an old man tentatively pushed the door open and asked if they were really open and when they said yes, he came in and sat in the window. He read the menu very carefully before ordering fried chicken, chips and beans. He sat eating it and, seeing someone in the window tucking in, brought in others and then they brought in more. When he asked for the bill, Patricia told him that as the very first customer there was no charge.

The old man recognised Patricia’s Bajan accent and explained he went home to Speightstown every year and always made a point of going into Bridgetown with the family and eating at Aunty JoJo’s. He asked if this restaurant was connected or was it just using the name. Patricia told him she was the daughter of Aunty JoJo, and was now in a joint venture, who had put up the money to expand the chain and yes this was a real branch of Aunty JoJo’s Chicken Shack. The old man nodded and said that now he didn’t have to go all the way to Bridgetown to get authentic Bajan fried chicken. Patricia had laughed and told him there was a new Aunty JoJo’s in Speightstown and in the next couple of weeks a delivery service would be up and running in his hometown.

Brooke continued saying that the restaurant had a good workout and had been busy for a restaurant that wasn’t supposed to be open. But takeaway trade had not been so good. People didn’t seem to realise there was a takeaway counter. She said she was thinking of putting a notice in the window saying ‘Open for takeaway and dine in.’ Jinnie said, “Do you think we could be missing something? We don’t have a website and we don’t do deliveries.” Brooke replied, “I thought about both and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a website. If we grow then we could go that way, we already have AuntyJoJos.co.bb; .com.bb; .biz.bb and .com so it would make sense to have the U.K. equivalents and we could use .com to redirect people to the national domain. We will have Trinidad to worry about soon.”

Jinnie said, “I have someone who knows all about websites, leave it to me. Can you get on to Deliveroo and Just Eat, I have the feeling we need to utilise them until we are on DKL.” “Do you intend to have a DKL kitchen?” asked Brooke. “Well, if it works in Barbados, I might be tempted to try it here, but not yet. We aren’t anywhere near big enough. I suggest we push the takeaway in media interviews at Monday’s official opening.”

Jinnie rang Ro’s mobile number and after a few rings she answered with her usual, “Hi boss”. Jinnie said, “I’m really sorry to bother you on a Sunday but is it possible to have a word with Jed?” “Of course,” replied Ro, “He’s only playing on his computer, you’d think he had enough of them at work.” A few seconds later Jinnie was explaining to Jed that she urgently needed a favour, she wanted the domains ‘AuntyJoJos.co.uk’, ‘AuntyJoJos.uk’, and ‘AuntyJoJos.biz’ saying the second and third should point to the first. We already have AuntyJoJos.com in Barbados. Then she said, “If I send you over some, details, pictures and the eat-in and takeaway menus how quickly can you have a basic site up? Nothing fancy, we can tart it up over the next few weeks.” “Well, if the domain names are not in use, I can register them online in a few minutes but they will only go active when they are paid for. It will look a bit odd if I put them on my DKL credit card!” “Can you register me as the person to bill?” asked Jinnie, “That way I can pay for them on my Trattoria Trevi group debit card as soon as I get the invoice, I’m guessing it’s automatically generated and emailed immediately.” “You’re right,” said Jed, “I put you as the billing contact. Expect the bill in 30 minutes or so. I want to have a look at one or two of the offerings and see who will give me the best hosting offering until we can get something of our own sorted out. As for how long to get something basic up, I reckon early this evening.”

“When you have done that can we register the same address but with Trinidad and Tobago addresses, I think that’s .TT. We can worry about a website for them when we have our first restaurant. You know we have ‘AuntyJoJos.com’, can we make that a group site that explains the group and allows people to select to go to the appropriate country site. At the moment that’s Barbados, St Lucia and U.K., Trinidad comes soon and then others, so it needs to be adaptable.” Nigel replied, “The TT domains are easy I’ll set them up after the UK ones so expect a bill for them as well. I think I remember they have a minimum of three years so it may be a bit more expensive. The .com can be done but is obviously last. Is it ok if I take tomorrow off and tidy things up?” “Please take the day off tomorrow, I’ll tell Nigel so don’t worry,” said Jinnie, “I owe you, it’s a bit difficult paying you but how about a meal for you both at Trattoria Trevi Turners Hill?” “That will do nicely,” said Jed.

Jed was right, the invoice for the British domains arrived 20 minutes later, Jinnie noted it was for three years and paid for it by return. A few minutes later the invoice for the U.K. website hosting arrived and again Jinnie paid for it. Finally, the invoice for the .TT address arrived, and Jinnie’s Barclay’s Black debit card was once again used. A few minutes later Jed phoned saying, “Thanks Jinnie, the domains are live, and I have quickly set up a “coming soon” page on the .co.uk site just in case anyone lands on it today. I just wanted to confirm a blue and yellow theme like the .bb site.” “Yes,” replied Jinnie, “We are using the same corporate colours.” “Great,” said Jed, “I’ll ring you as soon as I have got a test site up and running”.


It was Penny’s turn for hosting Sunday lunch. She had produced a shoulder of lamb which Jinnie had particularly enjoyed. It was sometime since anyone on the Sunday rota had done lamb and then it had been a leg. Jinnie was extremely fond of shoulder, she thought it was normally more tender and flavourful and this joint had been wonderful and to Penny’s delight the twins had asked for more meat. Jinnie commented to Paolo that they were raising a pair of carnivores to which he replied, “Better than vegetarians”. On the way home, Paolo couldn’t help but notice Jinnie glance at her phone several times before he said, “Expecting a call?” “Yes,” answered Jinnie, “Jed is putting together an Aunty JoJo’s website and he said he would ring when he had a test site online for me to look at. He said early evening and it’s already five-thirty.” “But it’s not early evening yet,” said Paolo, “I would give him another 90 minutes to early evening.”

It was six-twenty when Jed rang and said the test site was up and it was capable of being able to automatically adjust for mobile phone, iPad or PC access. Jinnie immediately entered the strange address Jed gave her on her iPhone and was more than happy with what she saw. He had reused some of the .bb site and there was more content than Jinnie had expected. It emphasised it was an authentic Caribbean fried chicken shack that had a long history in Barbados but was quickly expanding offering the flavours of the Caribbean specialising in fried and jerk chicken to eat-in or takeaway. Jinnie followed the links to the eat-in and takeaway menus, to the photos of a gleaming kitchen, takeaway counter and some pictures of various dishes. Finally, there was a location map with contact details, Jed had even added its what3words address.

Jinnie hurried to her garden office and tried the site address on the Trattoria Trevi PC, and it was subtly different as the site made use of the bigger screen to arrange the text differently. This was good, well worth a slap-up meal for two. Jinnie rang Jed back and said she loved it and would it be up for the morning. He replied, “Better than that, I reckon 30 minutes from now. I need to do a few things to get it compiled online properly, rather than the test version you are currently accessing on my own PC.”

Twenty minutes later Jed phoned and said, “The site’s gone live, and you can access it by typing the address into a search engine, but it will be a few days before you can type ‘Aunty JoJo’s’ into a search engine and it will list the site, it will take it days before their web crawlers find it and index it. Tomorrow I will try to optimise it and build a site index page that could help. I will also put that link we talked about on the .com site. Google and DuckDuckGo already have it indexed so that should help them find it.” “Thank you so much,” said Jinnie, “If I’d hired a company to make me a site it would have taken them weeks.” “Well, it’s not finished yet,” said Jed. “I really need to polish it up, add search terms and to make it suitable for more than one branch, with multiple address maps. I assume you will be using the same menu at all the branches?” “Yes,” replied Jinnie, “at least for a while yet.”


On Monday Jinnie took the train and Tube to Brixton arriving after Patricia and only just before Brooke. Together they sat and had a coffee and chatted about the soft launch. Brooke said, “As I told you, Saturday was busier as the day went on and we stayed open until nine in the evening when there were only half a dozen customers still in. Sunday was busier all day, we sold a lot more takeaways, I think my notice helped and again we closed at nine pm.” “I think we should try ten or eleven tonight or maybe later for the late-night trade,” added Patrica, “It was pretty busy on the street when I walked back to the hotel last night.”

By 9.45 the media had started setting up outside and shortly after the mayor arrived as did Belinda and Brian. At ten Jinnie made a little speech, and the mayor said a few words and cut the red ribbon across the door and allowed the press and a few customers in. The mayor tried the fried chicken and declared it spectacularly good. The media all wanted to speak to Jinnie, and she quickly tired of answering the same questions, pushing the takeaway side and the website. A few of the reporters chatted to customers who praised the food. The press had all gone by half past eleven and the place was filling up with eat-in customers and a short queue had formed at the takeaway counter. Patrica was grinning like the Cheshire Cat, and Brooke said, “I think we have a winner.”


On Tuesday morning Jinnie woke up and wondered why she had butterflies in her stomach before remembering it was the funeral day. After breakfast she kissed the twins goodbye and headed for the garden office for a quick check of her business emails while Izzy took the twins to school. The very first email she looked at was from Bill Furr saying he had learnt that there was to be very special visitors at today’s event and that he had deliberately not passed the information on to any of his media colleagues. However, he and a photographer would be there and would try to be discreet and not get in the way. He realised it would be impossible to interview the special visitors, but could he interview her after the event at Green Acres? After thinking about it she replied, yes, if he came to her house at four o’clock that afternoon.

There was an email from Patrica saying that business at the Brixton restaurant ran very well yesterday and that sales were again up and after three days trading were hitting over the break-even mark for the branch. She was so confident that sales were going to continue to grow that she had decided to return home, was flying on Thursday and Brooke was taking her to the airport. She thanked Jinnie for her hospitality and hoped to see her in the Caribbean for the opening of the first Aunty JoJo’s in Trinidad soon. Jinnie wrote back, “It’s been wonderful for you to have visited and be able to see the extent of the fast-growing business empire you are now part of. I fully hope to be in Bridgetown for the launch of the first DKL complex within the next fortnight. As it will be the start of our Aunty JoJo’s home delivery business in Barbados, we can again look to something good happening together. I am tied up today and tomorrow so I doubt I will see you before you fly so have a good journey and I will be in touch in a few days.”


Jinnie, Paolo and Nigel stepped out of her Lexus in the small car park beside the church. Nigel’s security detail had demanded that he should not have to walk far and be exposed to danger so had ensured a priority parking space. The King and Queen were to be dropped right outside the church and go straight in to be greeted by the minister, the matron and Jinnie just inside the door and escorted to their front row pew. The main entrance to the church and car park was in a residential side-turning off the main road. Much to the annoyance of the local residents the controlled parking restrictions on the main road had been extended up the side street for a couple of hundred metres. This was ostensibly to allow the coaches bringing the Green Acres residents to drop off as they couldn’t get through the gate into the church car park.

The security was unobtrusive but tight, Jinnie’s car had been registered for access to the small car park alongside the minister, the matron and a few other vehicles and she had been quickly allowed to drive through the gate but not before she saw a small crowd of onlookers that included Bill Furr and his photographer. Jinnie was greeted by the minister as an old friend as she had married both Jinnie and her sister and took the service for Ethel’s funeral. Jinnie introduced the minister to the ex-PM and he and Paolo made their way through the church, already crowded with Green Acres residents, to their reserved pew at the front on the left-hand side.

As many of the congregation recognised Mr Farage, at first a whisper could be heard and then just silence. Once seated Nigel quietly said to Paolo, “Just wait until they see who arrives next.” Nigel was right, all chatter died as the sombrely dressed royal couple were escorted to the right-hand front pew where they were joined by what Nigel said were close protection officers at either end of their pew. Nigel indicated a man sitting at the end of their pew and said, “That is the appropriately named Bobby, and he is my minder today.” Then Jinnie and the matron were next down the aisle and Jinnie slipped in next to Paolo, who squeezed her hand gently.

From the rear of the church an amplified voice said, “If you can stand, please do so.” As about two-thirds of the congregation got to their feet, the minister led the three coffins down the aisle, the organ struck up, the choir burst into Jerusalem and Jinnie wiped away the tears with a paper tissue. Jinnie found the service moving, especially when the King read the lesson and the Queen gave a short eulogy praising the oldies’ work for the Resistance. When the service concluded, the minister explained that the coaches were waiting for the congregation in the street outside the church explaining that the first two would be going to the cemetery for the interment and the third would be going straight back to Green Gables for all those who could not stand at the graveside. As the congregation shuffled out to the buses, the King spoke to the minister and the Queen came to speak to Jinnie, Paolo, Nigel and the matron. She explained that they were going straight to the retirement home as security had advised that the cemetery was extremely open, difficult to secure and offered too much of a risk. Jinnie was tempted to say ‘Don’t eat all the buffet’ but didn’t.

The King, Queen, minister and close security disappeared through the vestry and while Jinnie and the others joined the end of the queue to leave the Church. Jinnie offered the matron a lift and they were out of the car parks before the coaches which were still filling with retirement home staff helping. Jinnie was interested to see that all the coaches had wheelchair lifts, and all were in use. Jinnie followed the minister’s car into the cemetery and parked next to her. Together they all followed the low-level signs to the three freshly dug graves, where the undertaker’s men were positioning the last of the three coffins on straps across the graves that had little electric motors to lower them into the graves.

Jinnie stood chatting to the minister while waiting for the home’s residents to arrive at the graveside. Fortunately, it was a dry day, and a weak sun was making it fairly pleasant. The minister talked about how wonderful the King and Queen had been. She said she had been astounded when the Queen had phoned her and had asked if she and the King could take an active part in the ceremony. How lovely they both were and that she had been told to expect an invitation to a garden party when the weather was better. Jinnie and Nigel both agreed the Royal Family were really nice and Nigel said he had been to several garden parties, and they had been spectacular.

The interment was very quick and Jinnie, Paolo and Nigel joined the queue to toss a handful of dirt into each grave before Jinnie wandered over to say a few words over Ethel’s neatly tended grave. On the way back to the car the party walked past the huge number of wreaths, sheaves and sprays. The ones from the King and Queen were magnificent and the handwritten cards on each of the three sprays said, ‘Thank you for your service to the nation’ and was signed from the ‘Royal Family’. The matron spoke from behind Jinnie saying, “The Queen asked should they send wreaths, sheaves or sprays. I suggested a spray as we could use the flowers in the home. I didn’t expect three.”

Once again, they were away before the buses and were enjoying a cup of tea and a sandwich with the minister when the first coach arrived, and the matron hurried out to help her residents off the coach. Jinnie spotted Alberto hovering by the hot food and went over to speak to him. She thanked him for the wonderful spread, and he said it was nothing, just ordinary Artisan Sandwiches produce. Jinnie asked how long they had been producing the delicious hot sausage rolls and Alberto said he had no idea, perhaps she should ask Brooke as it was her division.

Jinnie could only admire the way the Queen and King worked the room. They approached a group stayed a few minutes and then moved on, leaving everyone smiling. Eventually the Queen and King arrived at Jinnie, Paolo, Nigel and the minister. Kate said, “We deliberately left you to last, as we have already spoken and we wanted to try to speak to everyone before we had to go. I must say I have enjoyed chatting to everybody, it is so nice to talk with ordinary people. But I must say the buffet was superb, I really do enjoy Artisan Sandwich’s products. I didn’t know they did sausage rolls.” “Neither did I,” replied Jinnie.

In Chapter 31 – Another inheritance

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