Springfield Soul Food restaurant expands in Holyoke after noticing a lack of cuisine in the area

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – In 2014, Melvin Lockett and his mother noticed a lack of soul food restaurants in the area. It was then that they opened the food for the soul of Khi & Eli, named after the eldest sons of Melvin. Melvin attributes their success to the recipes of his mother and family.

“My mom all her life has been like, ‘Someday I’m going to find myself a restaurant. I’m going to have a restaurant,’ Melvin said.

They started looking for their next location in 2019, now it has just opened on High Street in Holyoke. The pandemic has changed things for them, but not for the worse.

“When it comes to platforms like Grubhub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, it helps a lot. People are at home, they don’t really feel safe going out too often, so you can always have your food delivered, ”Melvin said.

Soul food originated in the south as food given to slaves on the plantations. Now the circle is complete to become a profitable business.

“What’s so amazing about our culture is that no matter what is thrown at us, we will turn lemonade into lemons. We will make the most of it, ”said Melvin.

The term “soul food” originated in the 1970s during the Black Power movement. And as for the opinions of its customers …

“It’s okay. It’s the best answer ever. It feels so good. It gives you the motivation to keep going,” said Melvin.

His mother runs the original location on Sumner Avenue in Springfield while he takes care of the new one.

Their hours of operation on Sumner Avenue are Wednesday through Friday from noon to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The High Street opening hours are:

  • Tuesday to Friday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 13h00-20h00
  • Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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