North Fairmount soul food restaurant closing due to labor shortage, food costs

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Posted at 2:22 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 16:12:39-04

CINCINNATI — For those who love a good, filling meal, Saturday could be a sad day.

In a brief video posted to Instagram, Jewell Copeland, better known as Ms. Jewell to her customers, explained why she is shuttering her Jewell’s Soul Food Restaurant at 2728 Beekman St. in North Fairmount after five years in business.

“I’m shutting down because it is hard to find help,” Ms. Jewell said.

She said she appreciated her customers and their support, but “with the cost of food, not having help — I do everything; I talk to all the customers; I cook all of the food — I just couldn’t find anyone to help me.”

On the restaurant’s Facebook page, Ms. Jewell said she would continue to offer catering services.

Siri Imani, creator of Imaniii Productions and co-founder of Triiibe Foundation, recorded and posted Ms. Jewell’s explanation to Instagram.

In an explanation as to why she decided to post the video of Ms. Jewell, Imani wrote, “This is a black woman in her 70s that owns her own restaurant on the West Side of Cincinnati with over 60 years of experience. You can’t tell me there’s no one out here that would be down to work for, or help her out?”

Imani said she discovered Jewell’s Soul Food about six months ago. She has faithfully gotten food every week since then from the restaurant.

“If y’all know anyone that cooks, and needs a job, please send them her way,” Imani said. “But also, as a community, I’d love to figure out how we can save her business, or keep her afloat long enough to find her dedicated employees.”

Imani said that those interested in helping Ms. Jewell keep her restaurant’s doors open could either call 513-470-5164 or visit the restaurant and speak to Ms. Jewell directly if she is not busy.