Serving up traditional Southern comfort food seven days a week, Food For The Soul calls Cartersville home because Waters fell in love with its people and sense of community.
Having lived in Bartow County for 10 years, Waters now welcomes members of the community within her restaurant, soon celebrating one year in business and four successful months in a new location.
"I lived in Cartersville before a job moved me away but when I decided to open a restaurant, I decided to come back to Cartersville because I love Cartersville and it's a great place to be a part of the community," Waters said. "The move has been fantastic. When we were in the Walmart shopping center, we were very small, we only sat 23 people and here we seat 82. This location has brought us a lot of new customers and most of our old customers still come to visit us here."
Now at 485 E. Main St. in the former Meating Place storefront near Longhorn Steakhouse, Food For The Soul is enjoying the new space.
Specializing in Southern cooking learned from her mother, Waters learned further business and industry specific secrets during her time in commercial food service.
"I've been in the food service industry for about 35 years now and prior to opening this up I was the general manager for an Olive Garden and before that I was a general manager of a Cracker Barrel and my mother was a caterer. So, it's been in my blood. I really have a passion for serving people and I love food, so I said, 'It's time for me to open my own restaurant,'" Waters said.
Harkening back to the cradle of her culinary roots, Waters' goal is for each guest to feel at home. She likens her food to that of her grandmother's and wishes to impart the same emotional attachment she has to those memories.
"It's comfort food for me. When you come in here, my goal is to have you sit down at my table and make you feel like you're having Sunday dinner at grandmom's," Waters said. "A lot of people call their clientele customers, to me they're not customers, they're guests. A guest is someone you invite into your home that you hold that special relationship with and you want them to come back.
"They're guests to me, they're not customers. And to be of service, truly brings pleasure to me."
Food For The Soul takes pride in their freshly prepared vegetables and meats made each day. Laid out in cafeteria style, a selection of staple items including three meats and a variety of side items await guests while other meats, made to order, are always available.
Meatloaf, country-fried steak, beef tips, pulled pork barbecue and baked chicken are regular meats while fried chicken, fried fish and other fried meats are cooked to order. Vegetables available throughout the week include green beans, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes.
Waters has big dreams for her restaurant with goals to open another restaurant, possibly in the Acworth area, in about a year and more to follow in coming years.
Food For The Soul is closed today for Presidents' Day, but is typically open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 770-606-8781 or search for Food For The Soul at www.facebook.com.