RICHMOND, Va. — Sharon Williams combined her love for soul food with cooking on the road to create Lady Sharon's Soul Food Kitchen. The food truck serves up comfort food in and around Richmond.
Williams grew up in South Carolina with her grandparents. That is where she fell in love with soul food.
“I’ve always liked to cook," Williams explained. "I’ve been cooking since I was 11 years old and it’s just always been soul food. I learned how to cook it from my grandmother, so it’s just always been in me.”
For Williams, soul food means comfort food that makes people feel good and brings back childhood memories.
After being in the catering industry for over 32 years, Williams got the idea of starting a food truck from her son, a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
“When I was in Philly, I saw all these food trucks, and my son was like ‘mom that’s the way to go,'" she recalled. "I said, ‘you know that’s a good idea.’”
Williams' husband, Pastor Rodney Williams, said he would work on finding a truck. A few weeks later, Lady Sharon’s Soul Food Kitchen food truck was born.
She named the truck Lola and said business began took off once she wrapped the truck in her sorority colors, pink and green and had her face on the side.
After about a year, Williams got a call from a friend at the Virginia State University Multi-Purpose Center offering her a spot as a concession for all major events at the center.
She accepted the offer and on October 13, officially had her grand opening. You can find her at concession stand number 3.
On the truck, Williams serves wing plates and snacks, golden fried whiting as a plate or sandwich, sides dishes — macaroni and cheese, sweet yams, green beans and collard greens with turkey meat and Lady Sharon’s signature potato salad.
Each plate comes sweet cornbread or a dinner roll. Dessert options include sweet potato pie, coconut pie, apple cobbler, peach cobbler, pound cake and bread pudding. To wash all of that down, she has her signature sweet tea and old school cherry Kool-Aid for sale.
Aside from her favorite go-to seasoning, Lawry’s, Williams has her own secret spice blend.
Williams thanks her entire family and church home for their constant help and support. She considers the food truck a family business.
“They all help. My son is my media person, he’s the one putting out all the videos and Facebook stuff, my daughter Kindal is the one coordinating all my stops, my other daughter is my HR person, and I have my husband, my mom, my mother-in-law and my church family they all help me," she said.
Although she has had surgery on both hands because of her carpal tunnel, Lady Sharon Williams said nothing can stop her from fulfilling her dream of eventually moving into a brick-and-mortar.
EDITOR’S NOTE: WTVR.com has partnered with the “iPadJournos” mobile and social media journalism project at VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students from the project reported the following story.
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