It's a question we hear a lot, especially as a new restaurant with a story to tell.
Back when we were just sketching out ideas for a nonprofit/social enterprise hybrid that would change Raleigh with good food, we stumbled upon an old church's fellowship hall named Carroll Dining Hall, and we thought the space might work for the restaurant.
To pay homage, we started referring to our idea as Carroll’s Kitchen, and it stuck.
Out of curiosity, we researched the Carroll family and soon realized that that Mr. & Mrs. Carroll would have loved to see an idea like Carroll’s Kitchen come to life in Raleigh.
In the early 1900s, Ernest and Della Carroll, residents of 10 North Bloodworth Street, fiercely sowed their resources into the people of the city. Ernest was heavily involved in Baraca youth, an international Bible study for young men. He also served as Scout Master of a local Boy Scouts chapter and was a lay leader in his church.
In 1918, the devastating Spanish Flu outbreak hit Raleigh, infecting 40% of the population. Ernest led the effort to operate a free soup kitchen and posted a sign outside the church that it was open to people “of any race or creed."
That same year, Mr. Carroll poured so much of himself into living out his faith that he died of the disease.
Della Carroll continued their work in the community by inspiring and empowering young men in the Camp Polk Prison Farm. She advocated on their behalf on multiple occasions, often helping them to obtain parole or acquittal. Della donated over 1,000 books to the prison library over the course of her monthly visits. She also spent time with girls at a local orphanage and gave Christmas gifts to them every year.
We continued to be amazed - and proud - that the Carroll Family legacy speaks the same truth as our restaurant, that everyone can do something to make our city a better place for everyone.
The Carroll family story lives on today as we prepare to care for people who have lived on the edge of society for far too long.
We hope you’ll join us - by eating with us, sending your friends to us, and/or backing our Kickstarter.