Many African-American rites and traditions revolve around food and family. For sisters Jorrae and Kelly Beard, the burgeoning family business incorporates food and family while preserving the legacy of their loved ones.
From what started out as merely attending a social gathering with friends, sampling one another’s culinary creations, Jorrae would eventually give birth to the pair’s company, Joyce’s Soulful Cuisine.
The creative brain-child of the bunch, Jorrae spent years working with executive chefs who helped cultivate her culinary expertise.
“My goal is to bring families back to the dinner table,” she said. “I remember how important Sunday dinners were to my mother and how bringing the family together around the dinner table would encourage family unity.”
In 2013, the West Philadelphia natives opened and operated Joyce’s Soulful Cuisine — a restaurant named in honor of their mother Joyce Amanda Beard — for a year before recognizing their catering business was more lucrative and less demanding.
“We made the decision to not invest in the brick-and-mortar operation, but into our catering business,” Kelly explained. “We created some really amazing products so when folks learned that we were closing the restaurant, they asked if we could cater their events. Our sauce itself was amazing and everyone kept wanting and asking for the sauce.”