T’s Epiphany, formally called Rainbow Caribbean Cuisine, has been serving patrons in Waterloo Region for over 40 years.
Rainbow Caribbean Cuisine was started by Jim Nicholas, who immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1967 and passed away in 2017. The restaurant first opened in Waterloo, moved to the area around Eastwood Collegiate Institute, and finally found a home at 29 King St. E. in downtown Kitchener.
The restaurant is now run by Marcus Smith, who was mentored by Jim Nicholas.
“I’m very thankful and appreciative of him, for everything he’s taught me about the industry and allowing me to take over and continue on the shop’s legacy,” Smith said.
“We make sure that our food is very consistent, very authentic. When we were dining in, we’d like to make sure people felt comfortable and at home. And our goal is just to continue serving DTK for as long as possible.”
Since taking over the business, Smith has put his own touch on the restaurant. Over the last five years, the restaurant has had several internal renovations and looks quite different than it did for the last 15 years.
Smith decided to change the name of the restaurant from Rainbow Caribbean Cuisine to T’s Epiphany in order to honour his sister Tenisha.
“Earlier this year, my older sister passed away unexpectedly. You know, she just had a rough life — never really got her second chance is what I always like to say. So, when she passed away and I just realized I was putting in a lot of work with the restaurant, and I kind of wanted something to be put into … to my legacy, in a sense,” Smith said.
“Moreso, I never made it mine, I put it in my sister’s name, so that’s why [it’s] T’s Epiphany. Her name was Tenisha, and it’s almost like Tenisha’s Epiphany like she’s getting a second chance.”
Like most restaurants, T’s Epiphany has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and was forced to shut down for seven weeks in March. When they were able to open again, they thought it would be the best time for re-branding.
“Hoping that we’ll … be around for just as long the [original] restaurant was here for, but with these new standards that we live in, it’s hard to say. Business is down a lot, but we’re still making it work.”
T’s Epiphany is open for dine in or take out Monday to Thursday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Friday: 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. For more information, follow them on Instagram at @tsepiphany, like and share!