Nellie’s Southern KitchenNellie’s Southern Kitchen

Our inspiration comes from Nellie Jonas, Kevin Sr.’s grandmother, who lived in Belmont until she passed in 2011. Nellie’s family remembers her as an incredible cook and a gracious hostess who focused on simple, fresh ingredients and on making people feel at home. “Her biscuits were always perfect,” marvels Cecilia Lucas, Nellie’s daughter. “And they didn’t just taste good; they always looked so pretty.”

But Nellie’s greatest desire was for people to enjoy themselves around her table and on her front porch. “Everybody was welcome at Nellie’s table,” Cecilia said. “She wanted everyone to have a good time.” She had a devout faith, and being a welcoming hostess was one way she demonstrated that to her family and community.

The Jonases didn’t have much, but they had love, music and the comforts of home. “Even though we were poor growing up, this is the place we called home,” said Kevin Jonas, Sr. “It had the best people in the world and the best food. Every day, my grandmother would come home with cotton in her hair … and make the most amazing chicken and dumplings, biscuits and gravy. And this is our way of paying honor to her and all the good people of Belmont.”