Henry’s Soul Café, with its long tradition of fine southern cooking, first launched in 1968 along Washington, DC’s historic U-Street corridor as Henry’s Deli Carry Out. It was there that patriarch Henry Smith, perfected the generations-old Smith family recipe for sweet potato pie which quickly became a favorite among the customers the modest carry out drew from all across the city. In 1997, the next generation expanded the family business to suburban Oxon Hill, Maryland and opened the doors to Henry’s Soul Café which still serves up those same down-home southern recipes including what still proves to be their most popular item – sweet potato pie. Today, Henry’s son, Jermaine and his longtime friend and business partner, Bernard Brooks, sell over 50,000 all natural ingredient, freshly baked pies each year.
A pie from Henry’s is a long Washingtonian tradition dating back to those early days on U-Street. Each Thanksgiving season, the lines begin to form at Henry’s with local customers jockeying for position to pick up their sweet potato pies – some perhaps trying to pass them off as their own delicious creations. Noticing this trend, Jermaine and Bernard came up with the perfect solution for the “culinary challenged” – Henry’s Sweet Potato Pie Kits. Each kit contains all the ingredients you need to prepare the “Best Pie on the Planet” right in your kitchen. The launch of Henry’s On-Line Sweet Potato Pie Shop at www.henryssweetpotatopie.com allows customers from all across the country to order what has long been enjoyed by residents of the greater Washington, DC area. For $27.00 plus shipping, sweet potato pie connoisseurs can purchase a kit which includes: Two (2) ready made pastry-lined pans, two (2) packages of fresh ready made pie filling and easy to bake instructions. So whether you’re inclined to admit you’ve purchased the pie from the legendary Henry’s Soul Café or whether you choose to take the credit yourself, the results will be the same: a mouthwatering dessert that will be a sure hit among your family and friends during the holiday season and beyond.
Ever the entrepreneurs, Jermaine Smith and Bernard Brooks have also set their sights on not only expanding their reach through internet sales, but are quickly gaining the attention of wholesale buyers and franchise owners. The duo has also established Henry’s as a successful catering business in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan areas.