Deepwoods Soul Food Serves Tourists and Locals – Lowndes Signal

On your way to Hayneville you will find a local restaurant that has served as a community anchor for over 10 years. Deepwoods Soul Food serves comfort food such as fried chicken, pork chops, turkey wings, vegetables and desserts.

“We don’t have any restaurants other than QV and Subway and sometimes people want a full meal,” owner Mary Surles Bell said. “We have a parade of people who come every day for the vegetables and our baked meats.”

Deepwoods Soul Food is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, which is Bell’s busiest time.

“I have a lot of people who come on Sundays. Everyone comes out of church and looks for a place to eat,” Bell said.

The restaurant’s location and hours of operation also make it an important part of the Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce’s ongoing efforts to attract tourism to Lowndes County.

Mary Bell (center) accepts the 2020 Small Business of the Year award surrounded by her family and community Pictured L-R: John Pettaway, Atty Kelly, Ozelle Hubert, David Daniels, Rosa Timmons, Mary Bell, Cynthia Carter, Martin McCall, Cheryl Colvin, Unidentified Guest, Janice Patterson Photo Submitted

“One of the things we’re very concerned about at the Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is trying to establish ourselves and attract tourists as they come through,” said Ozelle Hubert of the chamber. of Commerce of Lowndes County. “Deepwood Soul food is in a very strategic location on Highway 97, which connects Highway 80 to I-65. It’s a home environment and it’s convenient.

Bell said it’s not just locals she sees gathered at her restaurant’s tables, but also travelers who come to Lowndes County to share in the area’s beauty and history.

“We see people from all over,” Bell said. “Sometimes we have people call ahead and let us know they are visiting the town of Hayneville or Lowndes County and will be bringing their group after they find us online. We really appreciate those who dine with us.

Deepwoods Soul Food was the first recipient of the Small Business of the Year Award established by the Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and has supported the chamber’s efforts to increase tourism.

Like everywhere in the business world, Deepwoods was challenged by the rising cost of food due to inflation, but was able to adapt thanks to its loyal customers.

“I had to raise my prices a bit, but it’s the only way I know to keep going,” Bell said. “The community has responded well. Business was a little slow when I first raised my prices, but after that the customers gradually came back.

Mary Bell owns the restaurant but gets a lot of help from her family and plans to keep working for as long as possible. When she retires, she plans to allow her son, David Bell, to run the business, but she plans to continue contributing to the restaurant’s success. Prior to owning and operating Deepwoods Soul Food, Bell operated a convenience store in Mosses that served deli style food called J&M Food Mart where it got its start in the restaurant business.

Deepwoods Soul Food is located at 345 South Commerce Street along Highway 97 in Hayneville. Possibility of dining on site or to take away and catering. For more information or to place an order, please call 334-548-5227.

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