SOMMERVILLE, TX — Imagine the pain of losing a family member who’s been battling COVID-19. Now, imagine losing two more loved ones in the same month.
Andrea Jackson had some big goals set last year. After spending decades cooking professionally for restaurants and Somerville ISD cafeterias, she decided to realize her dream of opening her own soul food restaurant.
That’s how ‘Drea’s Kitchen’ was born.“I put love in my food, and all of my customers tell me they can taste the love, of course," Jackson said. "And I want them to be happy from the time they hit the door, to the time they leave... I love cooking and feeding people. I can’t say it enough.”
Jackson was able to open the business in Caldwell late last year. Unfortunately, a potential silent partner in the business went in a separate direction with their own restaurant plans. Now, Jackson has no location to run her restaurant. And, she has four new mouths to feed.
Around the holidays, Jackson's sister and brother-in-law, residents of Snook, came down with COVID-19. Both died in January. Days later, Jackson's sister-in-law, living in Cameron, also died after contracting the disease. Out of Snook, four nieces and nephews were suddenly orphaned, and the Jackson family had three funerals to fundraise and help plan. Andrea, her husband Johnny, and their two kids were compelled to take the siblings under their wing.
"They have been so strong for me, to me," Jackson commented. Jackson's family doubled in size overnight. She worried, as her husband is currently unable to work, and the family is supported by his social security checks.
Thankfully, churches, schools, and residents of Snook and Somerville have stepped forward to help."Snook - the whole blue jay family, Burleson County, has been awesome," Jackson exclaimed. "[They've given] monetary donations, beds, all kinds of supplies, all kinds of calls - what do they need? What can we do?”
But now that she has four extra mouths to feed, Jackson says re-opening Drea’s Kitchen is more important than it’s ever been. She is desperately searching for a new affordable location to set up shop in Caldwell city limits.
"That’s the dream," Jackson said. "That is the financial support. That is our means to survive. It is so important that that restaurant is back open.”
Jackson assured that she will accept any kind of help for the children and any kind of assistance or advice in re-starting her restaurant.
Anyone interested in contributing can call the Jackson family at 979-218-1992, or message Drea's Kitchen on Facebook.