There’s a reason why we get excited about gathering around the table for soul food at grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any Sunday she might be cooking. … And that reason usually is because we don’t have the time, skill, or desire to “do all that cooking.”
Now, with Soul Food Starters, a new, Black-owned brand of soul food seasoning blends, you can enjoy home-made southern cooking at your table any night of the week.
Soul Food Starters allows you to make dishes like mac and cheese, collard greens, candied yams, and peach cobbler in half the time and with none of the stress. Once you have the seasoning mix, all you need is the fresh ingredients necessary for each dish (like peaches for the cobbler, and fresh collards for the greens). No additional seasoning needed.
The mixes have all the flavor you love without chemicals, additives, or other nasties that usually come in seasoning mixes or pre-prepared foods. And for those plant-based soul food lovers, keep an eye out for the company’s upcoming release of a vegan mac and cheese mix and vegan candied yams. Soul Food Starters also come in single portions, so you don’t need to have a house party or a family reunion to justify making soul food.
“People love that they can make personalized portions,” said Soul Food Starters owner Claude Booker. “You don’t have to make a full pan of mac and cheese although you could. It’s so easy to do, but it’s authentic. It’s Black folk ready.”
The company is run by husband and wife team Claude and Crystal Booker who decided to pivot from their other successful soul food business, Simply Southern Sides, after COVID-19 hit their business hard. The couple started Simply Southern Sides in 2007 and provided ready to eat hot food for buffets and food bars, but as local and state governments across the country shut down buffets and in-person dining, the Bookers decided to put all their energy behind an idea that had been simmering in the background for some time.
Soul Food Starters is the Bookers’ first retail, direct to consumer venture and they are confident that their new product will be a cherished product for soul food lovers in the Black community and beyond.
“I’m going all in on my community. I’m going all in on this brand,” Claude Booker said. “It has been my dream to create a brand that spoke to our African-American heritage. ‘For us by us’ but we want everybody to enjoy it.”
Outside of sharing the African-American culinary tradition with the world, the Bookers are also passionate about education and supporting other Black businesses. The couple sets aside a portion of each sale for the Booker’s Soul Food Education Fund, which donates to 501c3 charities that support Black education causes and programs throughout America.
The Bookers also have worked hard to ensure that their supply chain is as Black-owned as possible.
“My goal was to be sure that we break that statistic that says our dollar only stays in our community for 6 hours,” Claude Booker said. “Our co-manufacturer is Black-owned, our social media management is Black owned … even our broker that manages our relationship with Kroger is Black owned. So we’re committed to doing our part.”
For a limited time: Purchase two sampler kits and get a third free with promo code: BG03