Organizers host the first Soul Food Village event highlighting black businesses in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa — Several people made their way to the Drake neighborhood Saturday for a taste of soul food at the Soul Food Village event.

The event took place at Kitchen Spaces in the Drake area.

“This really is the brainchild of my father, Ron Bradley, who really wanted to promote other businesses,” said business owner and organizer Dwana Bradley.

“One thing about our family is that we believe there is no competition, [it’s] Purpose. So we’re serving our purpose by having Ruby B’s Kitchen and Catering, but we wanted to make the other black-owned food businesses stand out.”

The organizers hosted the event at Kitchen Spaces because it complied with health regulations and the event was also close to the Drake squadrons.

“It’s good for all of us, and it gets me more business and more people coming in and eating some of my good food,” said Lady Jerk owner Arletta McCoy.

Soul food catering company Ruby B’s opened in 2021. Like other companies at the event, Ruby B’s does not operate in a permanent building but they were happy to be part of the event.

“This space shows us how to run a restaurant, and that’s important. There’s more to a restaurant than just cooking,” said Donna Wesley, executive chef at Ruby B.

Organizers hope to host the event next year.

About Gloria Skelton

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