Fortitude Founder

Allen County
Founder Profile




 Ivy’s Jerk Joint



$500 Grant Date

October 2018


A local restaurant that features famous Jamaican dishes and award-winning wings.

The only Jamaican jerk restaurant in Fort Wayne.

Willie Ivy first tried jerk chicken in Chicago and immediately fell in love with the Jamaican dish. He knew he had to learn how to make it for himself so that he could enjoy jerk meats (wings, turkey, tips, and more) on his own terms. Soon after teaching himself how to make jerk meats, he started selling them from a portable grill to neighbors and friends in parking lots around Fort Wayne.

Ivy’s Jerk Joint was born.

For several years, Willie served jerk meats, a spicy grilled meat dish, from his portable set-up. Eventually, word of the quality of his food spread throughout the community, and he was able to open his first brick-and-mortar location on Clinton Street.

Ivy’s Jerk Joint is a small, simple restaurant built for mainly carry-out orders. The team cooks their jerk meats on a charcoal grill in out the back of the building and serves their customers meals that many rave about.

Due to his success on Clinton, Willie hopes to open a second restaurant location on the north side of the city. For now, he’ll use his $1,000 grant from the Fortitude Fund to refurbish the broken down street-facing sign that came with the property but is in disrepair, enabling curious foodies and current customers alike to better find this Fort Wayne gem.