Born & Bread Bakehouse is just a few blocks from LoveBird. Founder and head baker Jenn Smurr was named one of America’s Top 1,000 rising entrepreneurs in 2021. Jenn loves all things related to good food and supporting local businesses. She recently met up with “The Lakelander” for lunch to share her thoughts on LoveBird’s food and atmosphere, and how she sees the restaurant through her unique perspective.

What’s your first impression when you walk into LoveBird?

With a slogan “Almost Famous Chicken” and bright pink accents, I instantly felt the playful and humble qualities that embody this southern eatery.

How would you describe LoveBird’s food to family and friends?

A fast casual restaurant serving Nashville style hot chicken at various spice levels with southern sides and a large variety of canned craft beers out of a small previously occupied gas station.

What adjectives come to mind when you think of the flavor(s) of their food?

Oooo. Piquant: pleasantly pungent and zingy. Fiery!!! Flavorful.

Do you have a favorite dish at LoveBird?

I am a spicy food lover to the core, and choosing “favorites” can be personally difficult, but the Nashville Hot Sammie (ordered HOT) was fire! Quite literally. Tears of joy were shed.

What does it mean for a city like Lakeland to have businesses like LoveBird to support and enjoy?

Living in a city that values art, recreation and culture is important. A large part of our city’s culture can be witnessed in the ever-growing independently owned food businesses. Supporting small businesses like LoveBird adds character to our town, encourages local entrepreneurship and fosters real connections in our community.

As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to restaurants like LoveBird about taking initial success and growing it into a healthy long-term business?

It seems Leah and Jeremy have found their secret sauce (pun intended)! Since opening, they’ve continued to be consistent and mindful of growth. While not one area can be more important than another, I value food quality and have witnessed others in our industry begin to fail by simply choosing to be cheap. All in all, keep doing what you’re doing, because you’re doing great!