PHOTOS BY JEJ PHOTOS
Flash back to your own favorite childhood dessert – and the precious time spent with your grandmother in the kitchen – and you’ll realize the memory of Sunday dinner always reminds us of the goodness of home and family. Now, meet the amazing family behind Simply Southern Cuisine in Clemmons, who has found the winning recipe for nourishing both bodies and souls!
This year will mark their 15th anniversary of providing irresistible food that entices families to gather around the table and enjoy each other’s company. Owner Lisa Miller is proud of the popular family-owned business for a multitude of reasons! The original business began in 2003 – focusing mainly on lunch deliveries – and Lisa and her late husband stepped in as owners in 2006. Since then, Simply Southern Cuisine has continued to grow and update, while staying true to the original recipes that customers can’t resist. Their days are spent as a family, which also includes a staff of wonderful employees, with a balance of love, laughter, and plenty of hard work creating memories for themselves and their community of happy clients.
Family is the focus…
With family at the heart of its mission, Lisa shares how her daughter, Kory, is actively involved in all aspects of the business, and makes all the delicious chicken pies! Kory’s children, four-year-old Lincoln, and three-year-old Timari, love to come visit grandma at work, while Lisa’s son, Kevin, and wife, Savanna, often deliver and serve for catering events, rounding out the valuable family contributions that make Simply Southern Cuisine so successful. Lisa also gives Kevin full credit for inspiring her to update the company website to offer online ordering.
“What a huge blessing in light of Covid, as our online orders in 2020 skyrocketed and continue to be a large part of our sales,” says Lisa. With her own computer programming background, Lisa has loved bringing her small business into the 21st century – technology wise – and learned the finer points of a point-of-sale system that not only tracks every detail of the business but allows the staff the freedom and flexibility to handle necessary curbside orders in the past year as well as offer the best possible service to their loyal customers.
Always keeping pace with Lisa, and sharing the excitement of creating new ways to improve the business and having fun in the process, is her “right hand” and kitchen manager, Jeana Garraghty. “Without her we wouldn’t be where we are,” says Lisa, praising Jeana for her outgoing personality and connection with customers, always making each one feel special! “She’s another true example of family, as our families are intertwined in so many ways. Jeana’s 19-year-old twins, along with her husband, have also been assisting with catering events for the last few years.”
… but FOOD is at the forefront!
And now, let’s chat about that incredible comfort food! Regular customers know they can drop by and choose something for dinner in a pinch, in a single-serving size, a small size that serves two to three, or a large size serving four to six people. Those loyal “regulars” – also considered family – have their calendars marked to order ahead for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, easing the stress of hosting during the holiday season!
At Simply Southern Cuisine you’ll always be dining on the freshest ingredients available, whether you choose to pick up a meal that’s hot or frozen, with portion sizes and entree varieties just right to please any taste buds at your family’s weeknight dinner table. Plus, your special event can be made perfect with selections from their catering menu that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even appetizers. In addition, they offer a broad delivery area for their catering services. It’s no surprise that chicken pie is still the number one customer request, with Swiss chicken, baked spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese also atop the list of tried-and-true favorites. When it comes to homemade desserts, your mouth-watering choices range from apple pie, pecan pie, and banana pudding to a lineup of amazing family recipe cakes and brownies.
“We’ve also added one new dish this year,” says Lisa, describing a Keto meatloaf inspired by her sister in Ohio. “It’s a win-win as it’s also gluten-free, and we do have a rather large gluten-free customer base.”
And freeing up foundation space is the future!
What’s also in the works for Simply Southern Cuisine is expansion!
“We are running out of room, yet it isn’t feasible to move or build a new kitchen,” Lisa explains. “Location is everything and our people know where we are. With our current six freezers, we are also in the process of adding a walk-in freezer to the back of the building.”
They are also hoping to knock down some walls between the kitchen and the existing counter, building new walls in order to move the counter closer to the door. Lisa is excited about adding hundreds of square feet to the kitchen area to accommodate more food prep space as sales continue to boom.
The Simply Southern Cuisine team is authentic proof that it’s possible to love your job and love going to work every day! Lisa admits she was “kicked out of the kitchen” several years ago, and she’s perfectly happy to keep things moving and growing on the business side.
“It really does take a team,” she is quick to explain. “I have a great team who loves to come to work – I love my part of the business, and they love their part of keeping customers well-fed and the client list growing!”
Simply Southern Cuisine also hopes to hold a celebration later in the summer to commemorate their anniversary, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates!
If you haven’t yet discovered this culinary treasure, Simply Southern Cuisine is located at 3570-C Clemmons Road in Clemmons. Call 336-712-4636 for more information or to place an order or order your next delicious family meal online at mysimplysouthern.com. Hours are Monday through Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.