KENT, Wash. — Call it a case of bad timing - Nana's Southern Kitchen opened at the end of 2019.
But the pandemic didn’t kill the small business in Kent.
Instead, it’s thriving.
"In times of distress, people want comfort food! And this food is made with love,” said owner Todd Minor.
The menu features Virginia-style southern cuisine, which Minor describes as a “dusting” of breading. Top sellers are catfish, shrimp and fried chicken.
There are also traditional sides like collard and mustard greens, macaroni and cheese, yams, and an out-of-this-world potato salad.
The main courses are $10 each and sides are $5.
As the eatery’s name implies, the recipes are inspired by Minor’s great-grandmother and date back 100 years.
He missed his family’s cooking after moving to the Pacific Northwest and thought others might like it, too.
"In times like this, everyone's looking for some inspiration,” Minor said. “I'll tell you, I had zero restaurant experience. My goal was to create an opportunity for people in Kent to have a taste of my home, and then also create an opportunity for people to have a decent job at a great wage, and then get my family to move out here from the East Coast.”
Several members of his family now work in the restaurant, including his grandmother, father and brother. All employees earn at least $18/hour.
The family-run business also gives back to the community. In a partnership with NBA player/Rainier Beach native Jamal Crawford and Minor’s colleagues at Microsoft, they gave away 400 hot meals on Christmas day.
Customer service is as important to Minor as food quality. Takeout orders are walked out to customer’s cars, and if something is accidentally left out, the restaurant will Uber it to the customer’s house.
Nana's Southern Kitchen is located at 10234 SE 256th Street and is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.