Shrimp, Grits, Greens: The New KC Area Comfort Food Restaurant

Like many who enjoy cooking at home, Belinda “Bella” Langford dreamed of having her own restaurant.

But she had a young family, so a job with more reliable pay and insurance took precedence over any “goal or dream I had of opening a restaurant,” she said.

She picked up the idea about seven years ago, but her husband – her high school sweetheart – died suddenly of congestive heart failure. She still had four children at home.

Earlier this month, she made her only daughter’s dream come true.

She has opened Bella B’s Kitchen at 6225 Blue Ridge Boulevard in Raytown, and will present it to 16-year-old La’Mia “Mia” Langford when she graduates. Langford adopted Mia when she was very young.

About two years ago, Mia began to have a passion for cooking, spending time with her mother in the kitchen to hone her skills. Langford had learned from his grandmothers – one had seven children, the other 14.

Mia also took cooking classes at Raytown High School and hopes to enter the culinary program at Herndon Career Center when she is a junior in the fall. She works part-time as a cashier at Hy-Vee.

Langford also wants his daughter to go to college, at least to get an associate’s degree.

“She is going to do a two-year internship in this restaurant. I don’t want to put too much on her and she still has school,” Langford said.

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Belinda ‘Bella’ Langford works with her daughter La’Mia Langford, 16, who would like to become a chef. Tammy Ljungblad [email protected]

Langford said education is very important in her family. She earned an Associate of Arts degree before working for a marketing firm. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and has spent the past decade working with youth and people with disabilities.

Bella B’s Kitchen is a comfort food restaurant serving breakfast all day, including the Bella B’s Stack (a stack of cookies, meat and hash browns topped with gravy and cheese), sandwiches for the breakfast, cookies and gravy or cookies with peach sauce, shrimp and oatmeal, oatmeal and cereal.

For lunch, there are brats, burgers, deli sandwiches, and salad with chicken, tuna, or turkey (or on a sandwich), and more.

Dinner is the “manager’s choice” of two different entrees – perhaps shrimp, salmon, chicken, or charcoal roast – with two sides. Sides include greens, sweet potatoes, green beans, cabbage, spaghetti, broccoli rice, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

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Bella B’s Kitchen serves breakfast all day, as well as lunch and dinner items including fried chicken, mixed greens (in turkey meat), Mac N Cheese, and bread. corn. Tammy Ljungblad [email protected]

Sunday is an all day family dinner – three choices of meat and all the trimmings. There are also desserts.

“It’s a lot of work, but at the same time, it’s great fun to serve others. And distributing my food to the world is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Mia said.

Langford’s fiancée, Demonte Rochester, handles the front end and handles publicity while she takes care of the back of the house.

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Demonte Rochester, co-owner of Bella B’s Kitchen, 6225 Blue Ridge Blvd., in Raytown, takes care of diners during lunch. Tammy Ljungblad [email protected]

“I love serving my family and my friends and now the community. I’m having an absolutely wonderful time,” she said.

As the family gathers in the dining room, a second patron opens the door to shout, “The food is delicious.

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Joyce Smith has been covering restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the Cityscape brand. She appreciates topical advice.

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