Josiah’s Southern Kitchen
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) –
There’s lots of laughs and mouth-watering food at Josiah’s Southern Cooking Restaurant.
“I love to cook and I’ve always had to feed several people. My mother passed away early and I kind of raised my siblings and had three children,” said Sharolyn Gaines, owner and manager of Josiah’s Southern Cooking.
Gaines had always dreamed of opening a cafe and that dream finally came true 7 years ago.
Gaines’ cousin pointed out a small corner of the Steel Brothers Bail Bonds building, telling her it would be a great place for her to open a restaurant.
“It was a bad zone,” Gaines said. “So I said no it won’t. Not while they’re out. So I prayed about it and God cleaned it up in a week and it hasn’t come back since. When God does something, he does. So I dedicated my business to the Lord. I say it’s none of my business, I just work here.
Gaines admits the road hasn’t been easy.
“I literally started with nothing,” Gaines said. $300 just to start with food. Everyone kept saying I couldn’t do it.
Add in a Category 5 hurricane, stroke, and pandemic, and the odds seemed to be stacked against it.
“But you know I wasn’t worried because I dedicated everything to God,” Gaines said. “I may not be tall but I’m here and I’m growing.”
Gaines says she made a big promise that she will always keep.
“I told the Lord that if you entrust me with my own affairs, I will not work on Sundays. Everyone always tells me you know how much money you could make on Sunday? And I don’t tell them anything because I made a covenant with the Lord and I’m still here,” Gaines said.
And she still serves Southern-style favorites.
Including what they call community favorite oxtails, as well as southern smothered pork chops, grouper throats, grouper backs, meatloaf, turkey wings and more.
“The meats change every day,” Gaines said. “Vegetables stay pretty much the same. Except on Fridays, I’ll make fried okra to go with fish day.
Many customers say the atmosphere is just as appealing as the food.
“I like people. I like dealing with people, so I like to cook, but I don’t care about eating it,” Gaines said. will cook.”
At Josiah’s, she has a lot of people to eat it.
“This place is heaven on earth,” said one guest. “My favorite is fried pork chops,” said Will Cramer.
“I play the whole menu,” Brian Taylor said. “The oxtail is fantastic, the grouper, the meatloaf.”
Portions are so big you’ll probably need a take out box.
“That’s what I’m looking for,” Gaines said. “It’s my family, all the people who come here.”
Speaking of family. The restaurant’s namesake is Gaines’ grandson.
“He was 5 when I started, he says I work for him,” Gaines said.
She chose to name the restaurant after Josiah for a specific reason.
“Josiah in the Bible reigned as king when he was 8 years old,” Gaines said. “So I said Lord, I wish my business was blessed before 8 years and he did. I can’t complain.
And no one else either.
Josiah’s southern cuisine can be a little hard to find. The address is 1003 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Once you get to the Steele Boys Bail Bonds building, head around the back and you will see the sign.
The website is josiahssoutherncooking.com or you can call them at 850-730-6087.
They are open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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