One Delaware family is bringing their soul food recipes to Wilmington.
Sowl, located at 601A Maryland Ave. in Wilmington, opened mid-November and is serving up “soul food excellence” with menu items like fried chicken wings, creamy pasta dishes and southern sides. The eatery is takeout-only, and owned and operated by the Booker family.
Rita Booker is the chef and owner with her children Taron Booker and Sheree Booker, taking on general manager and operation manager roles, respectively.
Rita always had a passion for cooking, starting at age six when her mother brought her into the kitchen and taught her how to make family recipes. Her love of food and hospitality grew as she got older, where she would frequently bake pies for friends and family while working as an accountant.
It was always a goal to bring Rita’s dishes to a restaurant menu, so when Taron found the Maryland Avenue space in Wilmington, the family jumped at the chance to make their dream a reality.
“That opened doors for us,” Rita says.
Taron says he and Sheree take on more of the administrative tasks to allow Rita to focus on the food. Sowl serves up a variety of soul food dishes, including fried whiting fish, cajun turkey wings and cajun-style pastas like the Sowl Pasta with spicy sausage and jumbo shrimp in a signature cream sauce served over fettuccine.
Patrons can also get traditional side dishes like macaroni and cheese, candied yams and green beans. Desserts are also available, including peach cobbler and sweet potato pie.
“I’m really cooking food that we were raised on,” Rita explains.
Taron says Sowl makes it a priority to offer guests fresh and quality food, with everything made to order. So far, the response to the new restaurant has been positive with customers excited to have a new soul food option in the city.
Sowl is a takeout-only restaurant with no space for seating inside or outside. Patrons pick up orders through the window on Maryland Avenue. The family makes sure everything is operating under the current COVID-19 regulations with regular sanitation and mask wearing. Rita is also ServSafe certified. Taron says even before the coronavirus pandemic changed how restaurants operate, the family had decided to make Sowl a grab and go spot, as it seemed like the better choice for their first endeavor in the restaurant industry.
“That was a blessing in itself,” he says.
In the future, the Booker family hopes to expand Sowl and open a second location that would allow for dine-in.