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OKC Tradition

Good County Food for the Soul

Restaurateur Carries On The Tradition She Started

For Florence Jones Kemp, cooking is more than just preparing food. It’s an age-old tradition of sharing stories, of bonding with family and of providing a taste of home to the lonely. Cooking is also a road to success, especially for a young Black mother with children, fighting for a way to succeed in the big city.

Standing in the dining room of Florence’s Restaurant, Mrs. Kemp is soft-spoken. She holds plates of homemade fried chicken and sweet potatoes with hands that have more than 60 years of experience cutting up fryer chickens for that day’s meals.

At 85, Mrs. Kemp still works in the kitchen of her restaurant, which she’s owned since the 1950s. She still whips up meals like smothered chicken, meatloaf and ox tails, a family favorite. She still talks with customers, cracks surprising and...

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