AUSTIN, Texas — As part of KVUE’s celebration of Black History Month, we met up with Kunstance Dawson. She owns Three Chicks Soul Food, a family-operated catering company that not only serves corporate companies and celebrities but also partners with Good Works Austin to deliver meals to homeless shelters every day.
Dawson grew up in Cameron, Texas, a town approximately 30 miles southeast of Temple. Dawson’s great-grandmother, Ella B. Williams, stirred up her love for cooking. Dawson recalls sitting with her cousins on the back porch, watching their great-grandmother pick vegetables from the garden. Williams didn’t follow any recipes when she cooked breakfast or lunch for her great-grandchildren.
“I knew that once we ate that food, it was food for our soul,” Dawson said.
Dawson’s love for cooking soul food has lived within her since she was nine years old. In 2015, she bought a food truck off Howard Lane and began sharing her soul food with Austin. Two years later, she converted her business into a catering company so she could spend more time with family and reach more customers.
“It’s amazing when you hear people say, ‘Oh! That tastes like how my grandmother used to cook,’” Dawson said. “It allows me to know that I’m cooking actually from my soul.”
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Dawson recognizes that her food does more than just feed people.
“Three Chicks Soul Food is a representation of myself as a Black woman in business,” Dawson said. “It allows me to showcase my talents to those that are up-and-coming, especially in the Black community. We don’t see our faces too often in these positions. It gives our youth the encouragement to know that they can do this as well.”
This is especially true for her four daughters, two of whom are part of the name Three Chicks Soul Food. Dawson is training them in the business, and they often help her in the kitchen. In addition, through Dawson’s role as the owner and operator of Three Chicks Soul Food, she shows her daughters how to cook, be self-sufficient and eat healthy meals.
Dawson hopes to inspire her daughters to enjoy cooking like her great-grandmother inspired her.
“I think back to those days, and I remember how proud my great-grandmother would be of me today, to know that I’ve carried on her dream,” Dawson said. “I live through her through my food.”
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