Spotlight on Black Women Owned Business in CLT: Best of Both Souls
In honor of the first black Batwoman, we shine the bat-signal on black women owned businesses in the Queen City
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A powerful black woman is taking Gotham by storm. But in Charlotte, powerful black women have always been essential in shaping the city. To celebrate the first black Batwoman played by Javicia Leslie Sundays on Charlotte’s CW, we are shining the bat-signal on businesses run by black women in Charlotte.
Three magic words: Nashville Hot Chicken. Now add ‘vegan’ and you have a winning combo for a line out the restaurant door. When Best of Both Souls Chef Chenelle Bragg, aka “Nelly,” prepares her fan-favorite, vegan chicken sandwich, she knows she’s cooking up gold. “If nothing else sells I know that one is gonna sell,” Bragg laughs.
Opened in the City Kitch West End location in September, 2020, Best of Both Souls serves up a mouth-watering menu of vegan soul food from fried “Chick’n” and okra to “Smash and Grab Burgers.” A former private chef of traditional soul food, Bragg decided to transition to vegan when launching her new restaurant. “There aren’t a lot of options for vegan soul type of food or comfort food, and I just decided, well I’m going to create an option.” Making the switch didn’t lessen the amount of love Bragg puts into her meals which inspired the company name. “Both of them I cook with passion, I cook from my soul. You’re getting the best of both – so the ‘Best of Both Souls.'”
As a black woman entrepreneur in Charlotte, Bragg understands the importance of encouraging younger women. “It shows younger, teen black girls that you can have your own business. You can build your own.” But she cautions budding entrepreneurs not to pursue a dream solely for the purpose of cashing in. “Everything falls on you — the shopping the cooking, doing the numbers, trying to find good help. Do a lot of research, make sure it’s something that you’re doing from your heart and pray on it ”
Doing it all seems to be Bragg’s forte and it’s easy to see the similarities between mother of five and her favorite superhero, Wonder Woman. “It fits me. I do everything — from running this restaurant to working another job, to having another side business, I do everything.” But even with a magical tiara, Wonder Woman’s got nothing on Bragg in the kitchen.
Best of Both Souls is located at 2200 Thrift Road, Charlotte, N.C.
Order online via the website, DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub.