Mz. Jade's Soul Food closes Middletown location as 2 other opening in the region – Hamilton Journal News

Mz. Jade’s Soul Food has closed its doors in downtown Middletown, but owner Naiyozcsia King Thomason says she will be back.
The Monroe resident who developed a following in southwest Ohio during years of catering, opened her first eatery on Yankee Road in 2018 at the former Cottage Donut Shoppe. “Flavored with God’s favor. Highly Seasoned with Love.” was emblazoned under the sign.
She said that is still true today.

King Thomason, known as “Mz. Jade,” was born and raised in Arkansas before moving to Detroit, and she started cooking at age 6 with her grandmother. She said the closure of the full-service Middletown restaurant will lead to a focus on the Dayton location and a Sharonville store set to open in August.
Mz. Jade’s Soul Food has been located Middletown, with a brief stint in Monroe, for about six years most recently at two downtown locations just blocks apart.

The traditional restaurant offered a full menu of homemade soulful meals with a choice of popular sides for dining.
Last month King Thomason opened a Mz Jade’s inside W. Social Tap & Table in Dayton. She is joined there by other vendors in the food hall located at 1100 W. Third St., including The Lumpia Queen, SOCA, Taco Street Co. and The Tap at W. Social.
Many diners get food to go at the food hall or sit at the shared space that seats about 160 people.
“You know, I originally had no plan to expand outside of Middletown. I always said if you want Jade’s Soul Food, you have to come down to Middletown, Ohio. But over the course of three years, I learned a lot taking on a full-service restaurant, and I realized the only way to keep Mz Jade’s going was to downsize the overhead,” King Thomason said. “I want ‘to-go’ spots. I want you to be able to get the same good quality of food and the same customer service from the some great family with just less work.”

She has trained up her staff, which does a flurry of prep work, but King Thomason said she is doing the cooking and that is what needs to stay the same.
“They prep it and I just go to work cooking,” she said.
The Dayton location is also open for lunch, so the volume is larger but the lack of overhead is easier to manage.
King Thomason said she had been working since January on a Sharonville location and that will come as soon now that plans are finalized. She will also be out and about in the Mz Jade’s Soul Truck coming to area events.
“But listen, I love you Middletown. I love my journey through Middletown. I love the community and the city has been great,” she said. “And trust me, when that event center goes up on the highway, don’t be surprised if you see a Mz. Jade’s Soul to go up there. I will be back.”
About the Author

Lauren Pack, a native of the Miami Valley, has been on staff at the Journal-News since 1994 reporting on courts and crime.


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