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Alfreda’s Soul Food among winners of $1M grant for small businesses

Written by on May 17, 2021

Houston-based Alfreda’s Soul Food has been named one of 25 recipients of the “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” $1+ Million Grant Program, funded by American Express and administered by National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program preserves historic restaurants and supports the recovery of small businesses who suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a recipient, Alfreda’s Soul Food will receive $40k in funding as well as technical assistance to support the use of grant funds. The grant also includes more than $250k in various products and services for winners to upgrade their digital presence and capabilities from program partners including AT&TDell TechnologiesResyMain Street America, the National Restaurant AssociationRiplNextdoor and Emerald Brand.

Of the 25 grant recipients, Alfreda’s Soul Food is the only Texas-based restaurant on the list. The winners were carefully selected by American Express and National Trust, with input from a chef advisory committee, assembled by Resy, which included chefs Deborah Van TreceEdouardo Jordan and Kwame Onwuachi.

The historic Alfreda’s Soul Food was eligible for the grant because of its significant neighborhood presence, 57 years of community contribution and minority ownership. In the last two years, Alfreda’s has survived not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but damages sustained from a nearby explosion and the devastating Texas winter storm, Uri. The owners may use the grant funds toward facility rehabilitation, outdoor seating and expansion and system updates for online ordering.

“Alfreda’s Soul Food has been a staple in the Houston community for decades, and we’re excited to be a recipient of the Backing Historic Small Restaurants grant by American Express. It is our goal to not only provide delicious food for local residents, but to offer a place of refuge where people can gather and get a taste of home,” says Troy Williams, co-owner of Alfreda’s Soul Food with his wife, Marguerite Williams.

For more information about Alfreda’s Soul Food Restaurant, visit

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