Growing up in the small town of Bogue Chitto, Mississippi, southern cooking was a way of life for the two girls. Their mother Tomma, a caterer herself, shared the joy of cooking with her daughters at a very early age. Using the lessons they learned in the kitchen from her, the two sisters have now turned their dream into what is today Sweetwater Cuisine.
Established in July 2004, the name Sweetwater Cuisine originated from an old school located in the community where the girls were raised. Their great-great-great-great grandfather donated the land for the original Sweetwater School which was built in the late 1800s. The school was called Sweetwater because it was located near a creek that was fed by many natural springs that actually did make the water sweet. Sweetwater School quickly became the gathering place of the community. Socials and meetings were held there which, of course, meant great food!
Jodi and Kelly have incorporated this great love of food into Sweetwater’s various menus which include many family recipes that have been passed down for generations—such as their homemade rolls, coconut cake, and gumbo. Today, not only can you enjoy the tastes of Sweetwater at your catered events, but you can enjoy Sweetwater’s specialties on weekdays at the southern eatery, which opened in May 2011.
Sweetwater Cuisine’s southern eatery is a hidden treasure nestled in the Wayside Village Shoppes. The menu is graced by the southern charm of where the girls call home and includes southern comfort foods such as shrimp po’ boys, sweet potato encrusted chicken pot pie, Momma’s coconut cake, and Aunt Ven’s meatloaf. It’s like stepping into your grandmother’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon. Come visit the southern eatery, where you can prop up your feet, enjoy a glass of southern sweet tea and experience the epitome of southern hospitality in the heart of Virginia Beach.
Since Kelly couldn’t break those strong Mississippi ties, she now resides with her growing family in Hattiesburg, MS. However, as with most close-knit families, she is always here in spirit and in moments of chaos, she flies in to save the day. She is still involved in Sweetwater’s menu development and training, but is often executing events of her own. When duty calls, Jodi assists with Kelly’s events, as well. Just ask her about her battle scars!
While we miss Kelly, we’ve continued to build the Sweetwater Family. With the addition of the southern eatery, we’ve welcomed a strong administrative team. Event designer, Kendall Fossen; Director of Marketing and Corporate Sales, Sue McKechnie; Executive Chef, Alvin Hyman; Sous Chef, Bobby Holt; Pastry Chef, Fanny Arroyo; Restaurant Manager, Jim; and servers Annie, Ann, and Salina are ready to serve you.
And with this brilliant team, delicious food and fantastic service, we are thriving and broadening our services. Like the mighty miss, there is no standing still for Sweetwater! In 2013, we opened our Penny Pantry, giving our customers a secret weapon when entertaining at home. New in 2016 is the expansion of our catering sales office to include a rental showroom.