Annette M. Hurd-Runcie was born in Kingston, Jamaica in a large family of seven, emigrating with her family at the age of 11.
She had an early successful career as a computer system analyst and later plant IT manager at Proctor & Gamble, earned an MBA, has a family with two sons but it was not enough.
Hurd-Runcie felt the need and the urgency to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur. After research, she decided to become a part of the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill franchise.
With the full support of her husband, in February 2005, she left Procter & Gamble to open her Golden Krust franchise in Queens Village, incorporating her business skills with her drive and her motivation for success.
Then, along with her husband, she opened Pa-Nash Restaurant & Lounge in November 2013, an upscale restaurant serving a unique fusion cuisine.
It was no easy task to open, taking three years due to various building department bureaucratic obstacles. Finally, Annette brought to Southeast Queens the style of Manhattan serving a mouth watering Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine with Caribbean and soul food influences that she calls “EuroSoul.”
Her inspiration to open a restaurant dates way back, “Ever since I was a child it’s been discussed at our dinner table about one day having a family restaurant,” she said.
The restaurant has received many awards, including a “1st Place” for commercial design from the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
“My dad passed away last November but I am happy that I was able to fulfill the family legacy before his passing,” she says, adding, “fulfilling this legacy while keeping my family unit together. It’s tough balancing business, being a wife, and a mom.”
Additionally, Hurd-Runcie reaches out to her community. She organizes free yearly health fairs where residents of Queens Village can get free consultations. During the holiday season, she donates food daily to the City Harvest program to feed the homeless.
On the Jamaica side, she sponsors two primary school children who attend the same primary school which she attended in Jamaica.
Also, Hurd-Runcie founded the Alexander Youth Etiquette Success (Y.E.S.) community organization, which will provide etiquette education and resources for youths in the community.
“I still plan to get a PhD in business, so I can become a business professor and use my skills toward the betterment of my people and community,” she says.