Updated: Feb 11
“I Want A Good Burger”
The Birth of Stamps Super Burgers
Jackson, Ms. Home of Phil Stamps II and of course, Stamps Super Burgers. Highlighting black owned businesses in any capacity brings me incessant joy and listening to Phil’s story about how Stamps came to be what it is today did just that and then some. The heartfelt recollection on Phil’s behalf radiated and cascaded over the entire room. The origin story of Stamps Super Burgers (Home of the Original Big Burger) is one to be told and heard.
“I want a good burger…” that simple declaration one Sunday after church is what sealed the deal for this black, family-owned entity.
It was back in 1986 when Stamps first opened its doors, establishing itself as a pillar in the black community of Jackson. However, the pursuit of its current location began a few years prior. His [Phil Stamps II] grandfather, Algernon Stamps, decided on launching their family restaurant in 1970 after the slaying of two black men on Jackson State’s campus by the then predominantly white JPD. The news of their deaths shook the community and Phil’s grandfather felt something had to be done to bring everyone together again. Before Stamps flipped its first burger, it was originally a grocery store. Canterbury groceries is what it was called then and it was owned by Mr. Canterbury who initially, of course, declined to sell the property to grandpa Stamps. We all know intothat persistence is key. By the fall of 1970, Canterbury sold the store and the rest as they say, is history. The grocery store held its original purpose for about a decade before it transitioned into the hot spot for good food at a good price.
The grill being installed by a previous tenant who also planned to sell “hot foods” was the catalyst that helped transform the grocery store into the emblem of peace that it was meant to be. Oh, and the burger? Well, that’s where mama Stamps comes into play. Grandmother Stamps, Barbara Lloyd Stamps, was extremely influential in creating a quality burger. Having a culinary background and growing up in/helping to run and operate a small store in Bolton, MS she was able to bring her knowledge of food and experience in business to the table. Wanting to give the people in the community something that was filling as well as guaranteeing their bang for their buck, grandmother Stamps was a huge contribution to the success of this venture.
Listening to Phil recall his most fondest memory of the restaurant, washing potatoes for the homestyle fries, you can see the sense of pride that beams from him. Being a helping hand in the success of his family’s now heirloom was a lesson in hard work and dedication that has given him what he needed to be able to run the business today. Planning to hit the city’s staple for burgers for the first time but not sure of what to grab off the menu? Phil has you covered. Just try some of his favorites: the traditional stamps burger with cheese, fully loaded; the sweet and spicy wings, smoked sausage sandwich, OR a grilled chicken salad. Those selections alone scream versatility, one of the things we love to see in a menu.
Being a third-generation Stamps, Phil has huge plans in the direction of growth for Stamps Super Burgers. He’s looking forward to building on the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit his predecessors have set the tone for. His father and uncles gave the family a recognizable brand and Phil plans to take that brand across the nation. Starting with reproducing the formula for the restaurant in different states to branching out and launching a franchise model, Stamps Super Burgers won’t just be a Jackson keepsake for long.
To think, this all blossomed from a classic after church meal.
Watch the full interview below: