The unassuming paper boxes tied with butcher's twine that flood out of Sally Bell's Kitchen are a symbol for some of the best food in in Richmond, Virginia, and a tradition for many natives that dates back to their childhoods. Today’s video feature from the Southern Foodways Alliance series highlights the local shop, and the important role it's played in the lives of Richmond residents.
Sally Bell's Kitchen first opened in the 1920s by Sarah Cabell Jones, and despite moving locations a few times, has stayed in the Jones family ever since. The shop is known for its completely homemade recipes — from the mayonnaise on the sandwiches to the icing on the cupcakes — that Richmond residents have made a centerpiece of their holiday and celebratory meals for decades. Beginning in the 1950s, Sally Bell's began selling box lunches on weekdays as well, comprised of five items from their usual spread: a choice of sandwich (there are 11 to choose from) and salad (potato or macaroni), plus a deviled egg, cheese wafer, and cupcake (8 flavor options) — regulars know their favorite combinations by heart. And at only $5.30, the lunches have become just another way for Sally Bell's to be a staple in their daily lives. Watch the video above to learn more.