Jackson Soul Food brings legendary family recipes to MIA

Jackson Soul Food brings legendary family recipes to MIA


After opening its first restaurant in Miami-Dade County’s historic Black heritage neighborhood of Overtown in 1946 and its second location in the City of Opa-locka in 2015, Jackson Soul Food has now brought its legendary family recipes to Miami International Airport (MIA).

On February 20, Jackson Soul Food Owner Shirlene Ingraham and Michael Svagdis, SSP America CEO, were joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, County Commissioner Marleine Bastien, former County Commissioners Barbara J. Jordan and Audrey M. Edmonson, and MIA Director and CEO Ralph Cutié to cut the ribbon for the home-grown small business’ third location, located just beyond security in MIA’s Concourse E near gate E2.

“I am so proud to see how Jackson Soul Food has grown to become a thriving minority-owned business over the past 78 years and to now see them open a third location at our County’s largest economic engine,” said Mayor Levine Cava. “Millions of travelers from all over the world can now enjoy Jackson’s popular soul food and get another taste of what our diverse community has to offer. Being able to celebrate their ribbon-cutting during Black History Month makes this opening even more special.”

Branded as Jackson Square, the MIA location also includes Jackson Soul Food’s Chick-fil-A franchise and is accessible to passengers inside concourses D and E. SSP America, a division of SSP Group – a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide – is operating Jackson Square in partnership with Jackson Soul Food.

“My team and I are so glad to bring the same family-oriented atmosphere and home-made food to the airport that we offer our guests at our Overtown and Opa-locka locations,” Ingraham said. “The opening of our MIA location, along with the Chick-fil-A location mark, an important milestone in my life. I’d like to thank my family and all of our team members for their hard work and dedication.”

Ingraham started learning to cook at the age of 6 at her parents’ restaurant, Mama’s Café. She would hide in her parents’ car at 4 a.m. so she could go to work with them and would stand behind the counter on a block crate, helping to serve biscuits. Jackson Soul Food would grow to become a popular draw for both Miami residents and celebrities, with its menu of traditional soul food dishes such as fried catfish, meatloaf, ribs, candied yams, fried okra, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese.

John Clark, Senior Vice President of Development, Airports, and Airlines, SSP America, said: “Opening a local restaurant like Jackson Soul Food is integral to who we are as a company—we’re all about bringing a ‘taste of place’ to passengers. It’s an honor to partner with Shirlene and the Jackson team. We’re also incredibly proud to join Miami International Airport and intend to make a positive contribution to the MIA community.”