by Destine Wright | Content Creator, Consultant, and Social Media Marketer
Main photo by Locs Image
Angelic is unstoppable.
While many businesses struggled to survive amid the pandemic, Angelic’s Kitchen is growing. Angelic Jenkins, the owner of Angelic’s Kitchen and former HR Director for the DoubleTree Hotel, quit her role at the hotel a few weeks ago. She’s now focused on running her business full-time. Despite the challenges of navigating a global pandemic, Jenkins is overcoming hurdles to open a new location at the Dairy Market–a cafeteria-style food hall featuring other local entrepreneurs on Grady Ave in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Launching the new location was no easy feat, but she says that the transition was smooth. “There’s a big difference from going to a food truck to a restaurant,” Jenkins says. She credits her husband, Charles Jenkins Jr., with assisting her through the transition, “I couldn’t have done all of this without his support…he’s my backbone.” Jenkins saw a decrease in sales at the beginning of the pandemic, and restrictions due to COVID-19 presented a challenge. However, Jenkins was determined to keep the company afloat. “I love a challenge, and I love a goal…I love reaching those goals so I can start the next.” Aside from increasing inventory for the restaurant, Jenkins hired a team and purchased all new equipment with loans and grant funding. She gives a lot of credit to the Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) for extending much-needed funding to help grow the business. She collaborated with local architect Mike Stoneking on her design, “He has done an amazing job. [He] has been very patient and has been there every step of the way.”
When asked about the new space, Angelic says it’s “beautiful and bright” with a counter and four chairs at her stall for customers to eat indoors if they choose to do so. There is also outdoor seating for social distance-friendly dining. “It is basically my personality with the bright colors. I kept the same theme as the food truck with the yellows and blues.”
She signed the lease almost two years ago and finally has a date for her soft open in mid-December (date to be determined). Overall, Jenkins is optimistic, “I’m a little anxious about the restaurant opening; it’s right around the corner, but at the same time, I’m excited.” In the meantime, Angelic is busy making the finishing touches with her menus for the new location. Besides her soul food options and traditional fair, she’s selling her seafood breading at her stall, too. She is expanding her menu to offer fried and barbecued chicken, fried shrimp, and various sides now that she has more kitchen space. “I cannot wait to share the goodies with the public,” Jenkins says.
She started her catering business with only a tent set-up. She then purchased her trailer, which ultimately led to her food truck business, seafood breading manufacturing, and restaurant. Eventually, Jenkins wants to franchise. Jenkins’ motivation is to build a legacy for her kids and grandkids. “I want them to have something to do, fall back on, and continue growing with.” Her advice to other food entrepreneurs who may need encouragement at this time: don’t give up. “When stuff gets hard, there is always an alternative. Keep setting goals for yourself.” She believes that goal-setting is the key to her success. “Pick one goal at a time and get it accomplished, says Jenkins. “Don’t give up until you get it done.” Now, she’s working on getting her seafood breading into stores like Walmart and Sams Club. “Hopefully, in another year, I’ll say done that and did that.”
Jenkins has updated her website to make ordering for delivery and pickup easy. Patrons may order online through her site angelicskitchen.com and delivery apps like Grubhub, Door Dash, and Snack Pass.
Hours for Angelic’s Kitchen at Dairy Market are:
- Sunday: 11 AM-4 PM
- Mondays: 11 AM-7 PM
- Tuesday-Thurs: 11 AM-9 PM
- Friday-Saturday: 11 AM-10 PM
Learn more at angelicskitchen.com