When a space opened up in a small retail center on Richfield’s Chicago Avenue—next to one of its existing food vendors—Soul Bowl co-owner Brittney Alise Klass knew it was the perfect spot for the Minneapolis restaurant to expand to with a takeout-only storefront.
“Why wouldn’t we open a Soul Bowl in Richfield and bring it back home?” says Klass. “We have a lot of people who love us in the south metro and Richfield is a central location. Plus, it gave me a chance to come home!”
Richfield has a special place in Brittney’s heart. She moved here in 2000 when she was just 10 years old, and has lived here ever since, so working close to home had appeal.
But opening in Richfield also made good business sense, too. “Our Richfield location sees a very different type of customer than our North Loop location,” says Klass. “It’s very family-focused. People are coming in with their kids and getting takeout to eat at home together.”
Soul Bowl is the brain-child of Brittney and her husband Gerard Klass. The couple started the restaurant in 2016 after a dinner-party conversation with friends. Both Klasses had worked in the hospitality industry for years and saw a “soul food desert” here in Minnesota.
So they dreamed up a new concept: soul food reimagined for the urban millennial. Soul Food “bowls” do not include pork, and do feature a variety of vegetarian and vegan options. You can build your bowl the way you want it.
The most popular bowls so far among Richfield customers? The Caribe Bowl (which includes spicy jerk chicken, coconut rice & beans, and sweet plantains) and the Southern Bowl (which features mac & cheese, collard greens, and fried chicken).
But also: Desserts! “Our Richfield customers order a lot of desserts!” says Klass. “In fact, we can’t keep our Mrs. Parker Donut Peach Cobbler in stock! They’re so popular!” With toasted donuts cut and topped with sweet peach filling and a scoop of ice cream, the cobber is a huge hit in Richfield!
So far, they’re hearing fantastic feedback from the Richfield community, too. “People are excited to support a black, woman-owned business,” says Klass. “Our customers are telling us it’s so great to see people succeeding during the pandemic. They’re proud of us!”
So proud, in fact, that the restaurant employs all Richfield residents at its new location!
“There’s so much Richfield pride,” says Klass. “During the first two weeks we were open, it seemed like almost everyone that came in would tell us where they live in Richfield.”
What’s next for Brittney and Gerard and Soul Bowl?
“We have a big vision—we think Soul Bowl can be the Chipotle of soul food,” says Klass. “We’re committed to helping people get to know soul food and we want to be a part of that movement to make it more convenient.”
Big dreams, for sure. But based on their recent success, there’s absolutely no reason to doubt Brittney and Gerard can make it happen.
Welcome (back) to Richfield, Soul Bowl!