soulful. local. seasonal.

Meet Chef Amanda Horton

While sitting at the dinner table as a child, I remember telling my parents that when I grew up I wanted to have an artsy restaurant with homeless people playing jazz for all of the patrons. My dad responded, “What in the hell makes you think homeless people can play jazz?” Ha! You have to know my dad. The first time I showed my mom my new downtown space at 112 Pine Street, a homeless man walked by with a guitar on his back. I feel I have been preparing for this moment my entire life, even though I have traveled many roads to get here.

I grew up working at the family business - Raneyʼs Flowers. I then helped my brother, Chad Raney, start while in college at Texas State University. Not only did I learn much about starting a new business, but I learned that there really were lots of homeless musicians! I took a job at the 2nd largest restaurant in Texas, initially working as hostess but eventually waiting tables and working in the kitchen. I was majoring in Nutrition & Food Science at the time, and working in the kitchen incorporated my love for science while also providing a way to express my culinary creativity. My experience led me to a position at my favorite local grill and wine bar. I worked there for three years, each day learning a new aspect of the food service industry. The chefs I worked with had a tremendous influence on me, and we are still dear friends.

In a “now or never” moment, I decided to attend the Culinary Arts program at Texarkana College before Jason and I have kids. I already had a good palate and a natural knack for creativity in the kitchen, but I wanted to make sure I had the fundamentals covered. During the final quarter of the program, I found out through facebook there was a building available downtown. The rest is history. With Jasonʼs and my familyʼs love, support and lots of elbow grease, my dream is becoming a reality. Mom has helped polish silver, cook, bartend, scrape tile and paint. Dad has helped with food displays. Chad is my technical guru, and tough-guy Chris has been my biggest cheerleader. Jason has taken time from his busy law practice to drive my delivery truck and help with every other aspect of the business.

My business has given me a a way to tap into my love for science and provide a creative outlet, all while helping others. My goal is to make people feel good. Whether it be by delivering a basket of food to someoneʼs home, catering a special event, or providing an intimate, private dinner upstairs at my shop, my business provides convenience and comfort to others while at the same time hopefully improving othersʼ overall quality of life.