Serving the community through food
Lynchburg residents in search of authentic southern cooking need look no further than Val’s Comfort Kitchen, which serves the community through its delicious soul food.
Started in March 2022 by Valerie Braxton, the restaurant provides a wide variety of options to cater to each customer’s needs, including cooking vegetables in smoked turkey to provide for customers with Alpha-gal restrictions as well as providing healthy meals for those with health concerns.
Although Val’s is only entering its second year of business, Braxton said that she has spent the last 30 years working in the food industry, including her time with her catering business Lasting Impressions Catering Services, as well as her previous restaurant Soul Food Express.
Braxton stated that some of her main selling points are her meatloaf and fish sandwiches, both of which she claims are the best in Lynchburg.
“I have guests that will come in and if we don’t have meatloaf, ‘Val, we’ll see you tomorrow when you have meatloaf,’” Braxton said. “The meatloaf and the meatloaf sauce are a seller. I make that every single day.”
While customers quickly fall in love with the food, Val’s Comfort Kitchen also provides a community unlike any other.
“This place here is filled with love,” said Braxton, who noted that she takes time to speak with patrons at every table, regardless of how busy she is. “We cook with love. We treat our guests as if they’re family. We never meet a stranger.
Our food here speaks for itself. It is good home-cooked, wholesome comfort food.”
Instead of treating customers as simply opportunities to make money, she cares for them as individuals.
“My focus point is helping others who need help… I have people that walk through those doors and they’re hungry and we feed them,” Braxton said. “I understand they don’t have money, that’s fine. My goal is to give back to the community.”
Braxton attributes this care for others to her faith in God.
“God is the center of this thing,” she said. “I’ll shout it from the rooftops because He is why we’re here.”