GSU alum opens restaurant in Choudrant

A new restaurant hopes to bring great food and family values to the black community. 


Choudrant’s newest restaurant opened September 1, serving soul food for dine in and take out. Called Soulfood Kitchen, the new arrival is located at 3731 Elm Drive off Interstate 20 exit 93. The Southern restaurant offers plate breakfast and lunches. 


Soulfood Kitchen is the first black-owned business in Choudrant, and according to the owner, it was birth from passion. Quenesha Byrd catered free-lance during her undergraduate term at Grambling State University. 


“While at Grambling I was always cooking for campus organizations,” said Byrd. “But the University did not offer a culinary program. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, but I have had a love for cooking since I was twelve.”


Graduating from an HBCU, the owner uses the values learned from their alma mater to run the business. 


“I love my HBCU,” said Byrd, a Spring 2018 graduate.


 “I graduated with a Psychology degree, but I’m doing something different. I think HBCUs teach you about drive and how to be a black entrepreneur. I took a business course that taught me profit margin and financial resources.”


“Financial reasons were definitely apart of starting a business with my family,” said Byrd. “Once you get over all the paperwork, work with family can be a great thing.”


Choudrant has a population of 973 and consist of generations of families. The former site of a soul food house that closed after 15 years, the restaurant has been renovated to modern dining.


A family from Downsville, brings years of experience from home-cooked meals from scratch to family environment.


“Everything is from scratch,” said Byrd. “From the biscuits to the sausage gravy, then we transition to lunch, with hot water cornbread and smothered pork chops.”


“People are friendly, food is amazing. My go to place after church on Sunday.” said Carolee Ellen Quarles, a five-star rating on Facebook. 


With a focus on the foots of African-American cooking, menu offerings include fried chicken, smothered pork chops, macaroni and cheese. Good old-fashioned food that will fill your soul with comfort.


Popular lunch menu items include smothered pork chop baked chicken or fried porkchop all served with a side of rice.


Breakfast is also offered starting at 6 a.m., along with decadent desserts like their signature buttermilk pie with homemade crust. 


With a five-star rating out of 18 reviews on Facebook so far, the newcomer is getting solid feedback from clientele.


Jenna Russell, who was among the first to review the restaurant on September 14, wrote, “If you want some good comfort food, run to this place. Best rice and gravy, pie and incredible family cooking from the heart.”


“We had smothered pork chops & baked chicken. Both meals were great,” added Billy Traders. “Also the buttermilk pie was delicious!! The people are super sweet!”


Interested? Stop by to welcome the new business to the area. Soulfood Kitchen is open 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.