Brothers Johnny Williams and Ronneil James Find a Home for Their Wildly Popular Food With New Brick and Mortar Fam Bizz

Photo Courtesy of Fam Bizz

I first heard about Fam Bizz, and their delicious food, when owner and founder of HTMSports, Devin Snow, visited for his famed “RB&R Mondays”. Every Monday, Snow visits a new spot that serves red beans and rice, and ranks it accordingly. When Snow raved about the red beans here, and ranked them in his top 5 RB&R spots (out of 62 places visited), I knew I had to try the food for myself. 

Once I had their delicious red beans and rice special, which I got with fried chicken, I was eager to meet the owner and find out how this restaurant got its start.

Photo Courtesy of Fam Bizz

As the name suggests, Fam Bizz, at 4235 S. Claiborne Ave. is a family business. Brothers Johnny Williams and Ronneil James started serving hot plates out of their home, in order to make a little extra money. Soon enough, everyone was buzzing about the brothers’ delicious food.

I spoke with Johnny Williams, and he explained that the brothers have history in the food business, having worked in kitchens at Copeland’s, Houston’s and Harrah’s. In 2012 and 2013, the brothers started cooking up food and serving it to the community.

“We did it for a year, serving plates with stuffed fish, steak, grilled salmon, and food like that,” said Johnny Williams. “It was a hit. We took a short break and people started asking us when we were going to start making plates again. When we started back up, we made the decision to save money to make something out of this.”

Photo Courtesy of Fam Bizz

In 2016, the brothers bought a BBQ trailer and started serving up food at second lines. From there, they leased kitchen space wherever they could. They subleased kitchen space at Jakel’s Fourth Edition bar and served their tasty plates there. Then they moved on to Queenie’s on St. Claude, serving food out of the daiquiri shop’s kitchen, until that deal fell through.

As Johnny Williams described it, the brothers knew they had to find their own place where they could serve up the food that so many people enjoyed. 

“We found our current location, on South Claiborne, through divine intervention,” he said. “I thought about people coming in from the hospital and getting lunch, and there are some schools around here. I really knew that this would be the perfect place for us.”

The building, which was formerly a pastry shop called Pushing Pastry, became the place Fam Bizz would finally call home in 2018.

Although Williams admits that the first year was tough- “Having our own location was a learning experience,” he said- Fam Bizz quickly became a favorite in the area.

Fam Bizz found its customer base quickly; a lot of people who had enjoyed the food, when it was being served out of bar kitchens, couldn’t wait to visit the new restaurant. 

“People knew us from what we were doing before,” Williams said. “When we opened here, we just expanded our menu a bit and kept on doing what we were doing.”

Williams prides himself on the fact that all of his recipes are his own, and that the food at Fam Bizz is made to order. All of the food is fresh, which is why the team has daily specials.

“We don’t want to buy too much and just have it sitting around,” he said. “We’ll buy a certain amount and once it sells out, it’s gone for the week.”

Some of those specials include red beans with fried fish, chicken, or hot sausage on Monday; stuffed fish, seasoned rice with crawfish cream sauce, salad and vegetables on Tuesday; and a steak plate on Wednesday. 

When I asked Williams about some of the “must try” items on his menu, he suggested steak, BBQ Shrimp, the BBQ Shrimp Poor Boy and the Claiborne Trio, which includes 4 boneless wings, spinach dip and Southwest eggrolls. 

Photo Courtesy of Fam Bizz

For now, Fam Bizz is doing take-out service only, especially in light of increasing Covid numbers, but they hope to be able to open for dine-in, either at the end of this year, or the beginning of next year.

“People ask us all the time when we’re going to allow dine-in,” Williams said. “We have the capacity for 26 people, so we’re looking forward to when we can welcome people back in to eat with us.”

In the meantime, Johnny and Ronneil will be doing what they do best- serving up the delicious food that Fam Bizz is known for. As Johnny described, it’s what they have all been working for.

“The journey has been worth it,” he said. “The vision that we had is coming true.”

Fam Bizz is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can place orders by calling 504-324-5476.

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