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The Jennie Behind Mama Jennie’s Restaurant, a Barry Alumna

By Trianna Bush and Michidael Ceard

Many Barry students eat at Mama Jennie’s, the Italian eatery that’s a five-minute walk from the main campus. Currently owned by Barry alumna Jennifer Berriel, the restaurant has been a source of comfort and fellowship for many students. 

Ashley Caleb, sophomore political science major, eats at the restaurant regularly. She is satisfied and reflects on what the restaurant means to Barry students. 

“They employ a lot of students and offer a lot of fundraising opportunities for different organizations, "said Caleb. “The food is also a bonus.” 

Mama Jennies has been a family owned business for 48 years. It has since expanded from simple dine in and take out into a sporting bar venue.  

“I come from a large family where we had big family gatherings,” said Berriel. “We also had the tradition of having Sunday dinners together.” 

Berriel, a curt and efficient woman, relies on an expansive staff to keep Mama Jennie’s running. The restaurant has been a big part of her life for the past 25 years. She took over the business when she bought it a year and a half ago from a family member. 

“It’s a small business that does large scale catering with big corporations,” said Berriel. “We also now deliver on Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates.” 

And, for years, Barry students have enjoyed eating at Mama Jennie’s. 

Freshman psychology major Jacoria Stanley enjoys some of the menu items at Mama Jennie’s and loves the dining experience. As an out-of-state student, places like Mama Jennie’s provide her with convenient fresh food alternatives.

“The servers are nice, and they have friendly conversations with you, which I like,” said Stanley. “Also, the broccoli cheddar soup is my all-time menu favorite.” 

Berriel received her degree in pre-law studies in 2004 at Barry. As a student, she herself worked at Mama Jennie’s to supplement her income. 

Although she didn’t get to enjoy the full college experience, she expressed that she enjoyed attending Barry. 

“If Barry’s law school was closer, I would have attended,” said Berriel. 

Now, Berriel’s two children attend Barry. Her son did one year of the paramedic program and her daughter is currently a sophomore. Her ongoing relationship with Barry through her family and business makes dining for students easy, reliable and comfortable. 

So, the next time you're in the mood for a meal off campus, go in and tell Jennie that The Buccaneer sent you.

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