Family is important to Vann, which is why many of her children, grandchildren and other family members help out in the restaurant. “We try to keep the atmosphere like you’re at home,” she said.
The menu features items that appeal to children and adults alike, and the prices are designed to be affordable for large families. For breakfast, you can wake up with Biscuits and Gravy for $5.99 or try the increasingly popular Chicken and Waffles ($6.99). “Instead of having bacon and sausage, you have chicken,” saidVann. “It’s dynamite!”
Lunch and dinner combinations ($7.99 small; $11.99 large) come with two sides, such as collard greens, yams, or macaroni and cheese, and include selections such as J.A.C.’s signature fried chicken or one of Vann’s specialties, catfish. Additional sides such as Hush Puppies ($1.25) and Garlic Fries ($2.75) can satisfy the extra-hungry. Kids will enjoy the Chili Dog ($2.49) or Hamburger ($5.99). Coffee and tea are $1 each, and the 75-cent sweet tea is made with lemons Vann grows in her yard.
For dessert, the peach cobbler ($3.75) is in high demand, and other options such as sweet potato pie ($2.50) and red velvet cake ($2.75) further satisfy the sweet tooth. Vann invented another option, Pepsi Cake ($2.75), when one of her grandsons suggested using soda for flavoring while baking. “So I tried it,” she said. “And it was delicious!”
Vann began catering when folks insisted on paying her to cook lunches for them. “They told me how good it was,” she said. “From then, they had me doing it every day.” Eventually she began catering for church functions, parties and other local establishments, running the business from her home.
“Everybody kept saying, ‘You need to get a restaurant!’” she said. That dream came to fruition when she found a space last fall and opened up J.A.C.’s Kitchen and Catering in January of this year.
On the catering side of her business, Vann enjoys the art of arranging food to look as good as it tastes. “The more pretty it is, the more appetizing it is,” she said. She customizes catering menus to accommodate client tastes, and continues to learn new styles of cooking, such as cake decorating.
Vann puts her heart and soul into her cooking, and hopes her meals continue to wow diners. “It’s all about making the food come to life,” she said. “You just use the right seasonings and the right kind of love.”
J.A.C.’s Kitchen and Catering, located at 2715 Contra Loma Blvd. in Antioch, is open Mondays through Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays. Call 925-755-5227.