From Ash to Gold: Kacey Cunningham / JKathleen.
Meet Kacey: Southern woman, mother, daughter, food champion. In this article, Kacey talks about developing her brand, JKathleen & how the power of her daughter's love made her dream come true.
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a God-loving, God-fearing mother to the beautiful Jazelle Kathleen. I'm also an alumna to George Washington High School – class of 2005. I attended Averett University — I've had a LOT of downs but also more than enough ups & I’m STILL HERE!
When did your love of cooking begin? My love of cooking started when I was very young. My mother was a single mother raising twin daughters; I watched her P.U.S.H. [pray until something happened] to make her struggle look effortless — to make it look like everything was great! She could make a meal out of ANYTHING! She started us young in the kitchen from homemade rolls, to cakes to different meats to canning & it STUCK with me! From her catering days at Beacon Ridge Retreat Center to her being Chairman of the Kitchen Committee at our church, I was right there with her at every event!
How did JKathleen begin? JKathleen was birthed when I gave birth my daughter Jazelle Kathleen; it just took me to go through some pain & storms to realize it. A divorce. A toxic relationship. And the entire time people were saying 'Kacey, you should start catering.'
My daughter was the reason I made it through my divorce & survived that toxic relationship. I saw JKathleen for what it was when I realized that my cooking was a time for my daughter & me to have the same moments that my mother and I shared!
What's the story behind the name & what does it mean to you? Jazelle Kathleen IS the identity & personification of JKathleen! It means FAMILY but it also means LEGACY! It embodies faith, strength & love.
What does Southern hospitality mean to you? Southern Hospitality is being able to recognize individually what each person in the room needs & you DELIVER it; from your menu options to table design to choice of tableware to plate presentation — how you personally greet someone with a smile and conversation; the look on their faces when they taste & see your food, even all the way down to how you dress and present yourself! That’s SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY.
How does food create better stories & conversations? PRESENTATION, DIVERSITY, & TASTE.
What is your dream for JKathleen? Wow, my dream — I’m not sure that I have one! My prayer has been to touch people’s hearts with my food & so far I think I’ve done that. Ideas? Now I have plenty of those; Mommy & Me Cookbook to Cooking Classes! Stay tuned!
What is your all-time favorite meal? As much as I love to cook and create food, I don’t think it’s possible for me to have a favorite! I’ll try ANYTHING!
Where can we follow you & place an order?
Facebook : @jkathleenscatering
Business phone: 434-272-8762
Business Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to book JKathleen for your next big event — you won't be disappointed!