Gumbo Goddess captures Nashville foodies

#TeamGumboGoddess, the Gumbo Goddess, Dr. Shirley Lightford and Ms. Vickie Cunningham. (Photo by D. Culp)

What can one expect when they are introduced to the Gumbo Goddess of Gumbo Goddess Catering & Concessions (Joycelyn Kelly, Chef CEO) at the Nashville based Farmer’s Market? Seafood gumbo packed with a variety of ingredients, zesty Jambalaya; (over a heap of rice) fresh collard greens and a choice of hot water cornbread or mini corn muffins. Add to that fresh cooked to order catfish fillets and made onsite watermelon lemonade over chunks of ice; a second or third trip is bound to happen.

She and her staunch team are set up at the Nashville’s Farmers Market, currently 2 days a week; Thursday and Friday. The team includes Vickie Cunningham and her Mom, Dr. Shirley Lightfoot. The three of them work harmoniously and put the words “hard work” to shame. The Goddess & Co. pass out samples of all or their menu items. The prices are competitively affordable and no two Gumbo Goddess items are the same.

The Goddess and her team serve each customer with a genuine smile, courtesy and quality customer service. It’s amazing and encouraging how focused she is on the company, catering jobs, and private orders. Kelly is the mother of a beautiful 8-month-old baby, is in the process of authoring cookbooks and even teaches classes.

Each of the three team members alternates their duties. They all prep, cook, stock, cut, slice fruit and vegetables, shout out to the potential and confirmed customers: “Gumbo, Jambalaya, Fresh Fried Fish,” clean and do whatever else is needed.

“I serve the Jambalaya over a heap of rice,” stated the Goddess. “This allows more of the food’s greatness and adds to the flavor of the dish. Samples give the customer an opportunity to taste our wares if they are new to us. Generally, once they do that, they have a better idea of what to order. It’s a reward and a sheer pleasure to see them return to our station for more food and drink.”

All of the food is gluten free-another key reason for the hungry crowds that faithfully line up for their portions. From the myriad of people who patiently wait in line for their full bowls or plates, to the cornucopia of goodness served by the Gumbo Goddess (and company) – it seems to keep them coming back. Check out the honest news and reviews as well as any menu item updates or events via