Filet of Soul Restaurant Relocates to Charles A. Melton Center


By: Marlana Edwards 

Filet of Soul Restaurant recently relocated to the Charles A. Melton Center in West Chester in order to open a culinary institute for under-served youth.

The Filet of Soul Culinary Institute is a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and is funded by a grant from Chester County’s Workforce Development Board. The institute offers five consecutive six-week culinary sessions at the Melton Center, Monday through Thursday from 4-6 p.m. The next session will begin on January 8th, 2018.

The institute trains students ages 14-18 and its mission is to provide under-served youth with culinary education and skills, internship opportunities, and assistance in obtaining a food handler’s certificate so that they can secure food service jobs after program participation.

All of the students and employees at the Melton Center are cross-trained in every food service position so that they will have the valuable skills to participate in all aspects of the food service industry.

Lisa and Traci Morris, the owners of Filet of Soul, decided to relocate to the Melton Center in order to better assist and serve at-risk youth.

“I felt called to really focus on serving the children in my community,” said Lisa, “The Melton Center is easily accessible and we’ll be able to dedicate more time and more resources to service.”

Prior to relocation, Filet of Soul Restaurant was the only full-service dining establishment in Chester County that was staffed- almost exclusively- by the elderly, recovering addicts, ex-offenders and at-risk youth.

From 2016 to 2017, 32 difficult-to-place individuals benefited from the restaurant’s second chance hiring policy and subsequent training program.

Lisa and Traci will continue to implement the second-chance hiring policy at the Filet of Soul Culinary institute at the Melton Center. They aim to utilize the institute to provide youth with life-long skills that they can transfer to future opportunities for success.



Giving Back


Strong in their faith and beliefs, restaurant owners Lisa and Traci Morris knew they wanted to create a space where people could not only enjoy great food, but also a space that welcomed people from all walks of life. Public service is especially important to Lisa and Traci, as they are deeply rooted in their church and community. Filet of Soul offers a second chance hiring policy to help provide stability and support to single mothers, holds a Sunday Brunch and Gospel Music to various congregations, and plans to host a soup kitchen night to give back to the community.

The colorful artwork displayed throughout the restaurant is that of the works of Michelle Dirks. Both international educator and artist, Michelle Dirks (a native of Ireland,) has taught unique art programs that are rich and intriguing to children from 3-17. Her student’s artwork is featured throughout the restaurant. Helping and supporting one another and the community is not only our mission, it’s our life’s work.

Contact us if you are interested in working together to help the community.