When you think of the words “southern home,” three things immediately come to mind – grace, charm and hospitality. “Southern Kitchen” elicits thoughts of warmth, wonderful aromas and, of course, amazing food. It is easy to picture friends and family enjoying get-togethers in this setting. Those same words will come to mind the minute you enter Southern Home and Kitchen.
This month marks four years since Southern Home and Kitchen (SoHo) opened in Thruway Center. “It is pretty amazing to have grown as much as we have in only four years,” said Owner Linda Britt Arnold. “I am just so thankful to our community for the support and the encouragement that we’ve received since opening. SoHo started out as just a vague idea that morphed into a more specific business plan that has since become this store that I love. Time has gone by so quickly that it is nice to pause and reflect on how far we have come since day one.”
Opening a business is an interesting prospect that, besides the hard work and planning, can also bring pleasant surprises. “Retail is a crazy and risky business, so it takes a lot to surprise me,” said Arnold. “But, I’ve been surprised by our customers’ enthusiasm for a good kitchen store. I thought we might become more of a housewares and décor destination over time. I’ve also been surprised – and thrilled – with the loyalty of the Winston-Salem community for SoHo at a time when online shopping is gaining popularity. We really appreciate that our customers value and support our small local family business.”
SoHo is owned and run by Arnold and her daughters, with her husband offering free financial advice. “I think it is empowering to know that stores like SoHo have women behind them,” said Arnold. “It’s good for girls and young women to know what can be accomplished with a good idea and a lot of hard work, and to have tangible, local role models for success. It is exciting to think about the future of SoHo because there are just so many possibilities for it! We hope to continue to offer kitchen and home goods that interest, inspire and excite our customers, but we also would like to become more a part of the community through partnering with various organizations, both retail and nonprofits.”
It is wonderful to have a local business, conveniently located, that contains quality products for the home and kitchen. It is nearly impossible to leave SoHo without a purchase or a new item for your wish list. It is also nice to know that Arnold understands what has made SoHo successful. “There have been lots of tweaks and refinements, but no major changes at this point,” said Arnold. “We will try a brand or a trend, and sometimes they are not as successful as we would like, so we don’t reorder. We’ve added some frozen foods, which have been wildly popular. We’ve moved stuff around and painted the store, but it is mostly still the business we opened four years ago. SoHo offers unique and festive shopping and cooking experiences. We love to help people find things for their kitchen and home that make it fun and easy to gather family and friends around the table. Cooking and entertaining in a warm and welcoming environment adds joy to life.”
Speaking of cooking, SoHo offers classes that will teach and inspire and bring new additions to your repertoire. ”We offer two to five cooking classes per week taught by various local ‘celebrity’ chefs in our state-of-the-art kitchen at the back of the store,” said Arnold. “These have been a hit since we began offering them four years ago, so we continue to offer a wide range of classes from Mediterranean feasts to hands-on seafood to southern biscuits classes. One of our most popular classes, that we now offer on a monthly basis, is our knife skills class where participants learn the basics of proper techniques – and then they get a meal plus a free chef’s knife to go with it! We are planning on adding more lunch time classes and Kids’ Cooking Classes/Camps, too.”
“We appreciate that the Winston-Salem community has welcomed and embraced our little idea that is now SoHo and would like to thank our customers for a great first four years,” said Arnold. “To celebrate our fourth anniversary, we will have a birthday party on Saturday, August 5th with food, drinks, gifts with purchase and lots of celebrations! We will also have various promotions throughout the month, so be sure to check our website, Facebook and Instagram or join our email list to know more details.”
Southern Home and Kitchen is located at Thruway Center between New Balance and Mattress Center at 200 South Stratford Road in Winston-Salem. For more information, call 336.777.3660, or visit the website at ShopSoHoNC.com.