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Jessamine Co. restaurant cooks up BBQ and second chances

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Posted at 12:23 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 18:24:09-04

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — A new restaurant in Nicholasville is serving up barbecue with a side of second chances. JC's Smokehouse on Main Street has made it it's mission to hire and encourage women who have been bound by opioid addiction or human trafficking and help them move toward a life of productivity.

"When they invited me and asked me to come work here to serve, I just absolutely fell in love with it," said Madeline Morton who was embroiled in addiction and abuse for 20 years.

"It has changed me all the way around," Clara Allen added.

Morton and Allen are just two of the employees at JC's, but their stories are exactly what the restaurant is all about. Each has come from a life of addiction and varied abuse. Now both are reporting for work at JC's, earning a paycheck and fully contributing to society.

"These women are amazing," said Jeanie Lemaster of Breaking Free Ministry. "They have hope that we are excited to be able to watch them grow through that process."

JC's is the product of a partnership between Ignite Church and Breaking Free Ministry to provide jobs and a purpose for women who might not be able to get them otherwise.

"Most people don't want to go back to prison," said JC's co-owner Johnathan Stidham. "The problem is is that once they have an infraction there are stipulations on their ability to get jobs and get housing and get back in to society."

Now it is their hope that by helping give these women a second chance, they will be able to go on and create a life for themselves, opening the door for a bright future not defined by their past.

"We wanted to create a space that says you know what, I know you ladies have histories, but we're not gonna disqualify you from things you did in your past. We're actually going to help create a future for you," Stidham said.

JC's Smokehouse is located at 964 N. Main Street in Nicholasville. They will have a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 20th at 12:00 pm. All are invited to attend.