Paul Jenkins, Jr.
Jenkins, Jr. is the brainchild/designer/owner of What Crepe?
, the world-renowned, award-winning French restaurant in downtown Royal Oak. Since opening in 2009, Jenkins Jr. has evolved What Crepe? from a 22-seat café into a 50-seat full bistro and plans to expand to additional cities in the 2011.
Jenkins, Jr. entered the culinary arts field in 2008 as co-owner of The Black Pearl
, a successful seafood restaurant and martini bar in downtown Ann Arbor. He also co-owned the ultra-chic nightclub, Theatro, in downtown Chicago, which was sold to a third-party group in 2009.
In addition to his culinary career, Jenkins, Jr. currently serves as senior executive vice president for the Detroit-based Michigan Industrial Group
(MIG), a commercial general contractor and construction management firm founded by his father, Paul Jenkins Sr.
Jenkins, Jr. earned a full basketball scholarship to Spring Arbor University, which led to a degree in management and organizational development with a minor in marketing. During the summers, he worked for his father's construction companies – first as a job site laborer and materials truck driver – and later serving as an assistant project engineer.
Yearning to expand his creative endeavors, he formed Group 411, an entertainment marketing and production company, which specialized in producing special events. What started as a part-time college sideline business turned into a more than 14-year career. As Group 411, Jenkins, Jr. and his team created a number of savvy special events, as well as marketing and promotion campaigns, for A-list clients including P. Diddy, Missy Elliott, Alicia Keys, John Legend, D. L. Hughley, John Salley, MTV's "Making the Band" Season II, and many others.
Another venture that stands out for Jenkins, Jr. was working with his business partner, retired four-time NBA Champion John Salley, on the 1997 launch of The Press Room, an exclusive cigar lounge in the South Beach District of Miami Beach, Florida.
Jenkins Jr. also sits on the board of Orchards Children's Services and the International Detroit Black Expo. At the forefront of his endeavors is education, as he is the president and CEO of the Paul Jenkins Jr. Foundation
, which provides annual scholarships to qualifying inner city students. His credo is: If you aren't giving, you aren't living.
Jenkins, Jr. professes that his professional passion stems from his personal love of international travel, his love for food, people, boutique hotels, and restaurants. But first and foremost, he loves his daughter, Nadia Mylia, who he calls the joy of his life.