Justin Johnson and Jessica Bane, owners of The Serving Spoon.  (Courtesy photo)

The Serving Spoon has pleased generations of families in the South Bay.  Now, thousands more can enjoy the soul food cuisine at the 18th Annual Taste of Soul on Saturday, October 21, on Crenshaw Boulevard from Obama Boulevard to Stocker Avenue.

One of the most popular restaurants in Inglewood, The Serving Spoon is marking its 40th year of satisfying hungry people with delicious, homestyle meals. The full-service eatery offers breakfast and lunch specials ranging from veggie omelets to loaded burritos to shrimp and grits.

While the menu regularly features new items, customers can also try time-honored standards that have been around since The Serving Spoon first opened in 1983.

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“We are known for our breakfast, especially catfish and eggs. But we also have soul food such as ox tails, turkey wings, collard greens and candied yams,” said Justin Johnson, who co-owns the restaurant with his sister, Jessica Bane.

The Serving Spoon has operated for three generations comprised of the Sparks, Johnson and Bane families. From left are Justin Johnson, J.C. Johnson, Angela Johnson, Kayden Bane, Harold Sparks, Jerry Johnson, Kaleb Bane, Jashua Bane, Brenda Sparks, and Jessica Bane. (Courtesy photo)

“One of our slogans is ‘love at first bite.’ Our food truly is made with love. Everything is made fresh to order,” he noted and added that philosophy has been applied throughout the existence of the family-owned business.

The Serving Spoon was established by the their grandfather, Harold Sparks, who operated the diner for 21 years. Their parents bought the business in 2004 and managed it for 19 years.

In June 2022, their parents retired, and Justin and Jessica purchased the restaurant. And with The Serving Spoon observing the fourth decade of operation, the siblings decided to celebrate the milestone at Taste of Soul.

Explaining the reason, Justin said, “The restaurant has been in our family for 40 years, but now we have the reigns and so we want to introduce ourselves and let the community know that the quality of the service is still there.

Justin and Jessica with longtime employee, Ericka. (Courtesy photo)

“We wanted to use the Taste of Soul to catapult us into our 40th anniversary celebration, which will be held the week following the TOS.”

Owning and managing a business can be challenging, however Justin and Jessica shared a few words of wisdom for people considering similar ventures.

“Ensure that you treat everyone with respect because when you do, it’s more than likely that you’ll be treated with the same respect,” advised Jessica.

“Also, be kind to yourself, but also don’t be too stubborn to receive feedback from your partners or customers,” Justin said.

“Always remember who you are and what you stand for as an individual and as a business as well.”

The Serving Spoon is located at 1403 Centinela Avenue in Inglewood and open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  To learn more, call (310) 412-3927 or email [email protected]. Follow on Instagram @TheServingSpoon