Black Owned Business
Cooking is a way of life in the South and nobody knows that better than NFL Pro Reggie Kelly, owner of KYVAN® Foods. Reggie grew up in Aberdeen, MS and played football at Mississippi State University. He also excelled at the Pro level by playing 13 years in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Atlanta Falcons.
Even though Reggie has traveled the world, he has not forgotten his southern roots, one of which consists of great cooking…a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Reggie explains, “Since I was a little boy, cooking in my household has been an event within itself and my family is a big reason why I love to cook. Growing up, they would always tell me, “Reggie, when you cook, make sure you do it with love.” “My family believed that great meals should be prepared in such a way that once eaten, it would touch your “SOUL”. I gathered that I should cook in such a way that first time visitors would feel welcomed and feel as though they are a part of my family.”
Reggie ‘took to heart’ his family’s advice especially when He and his wife Sheila held football camps in their hometown of Aberdeen. The football camps were designed to reward the kids who have excelled academically in the classroom. He also invited fellow NFL stars & coaches to volunteer and make the events special for the kids. True to form, after the camps, Reggie’s family cooked for the volunteers and they raved about the flavor and goodness of the meals. “Their responses were overwhelming and brought a smile to my face when they expressed their enjoyment of the meals and the difficulty of finding flavorful meals like these anywhere else”, said Reggie. Those compliments started the ‘wheels to churn’ in my mind and a light bulb flashed, prompting my wife and I to ‘come up’ with a great idea… a Food Line!”
Reggie’s NFL peers were definitely inspirational in the birth of KYVAN® Foods because their expressions reminded him that people have always enjoyed good food, especially the kind that touches the soul! And since people from all walks of life really enjoy Down South cooking, Reggie thought, why not bring a piece of the south to their homes, compliments of his family. So Reggie gathered his family secret recipes, pitched the idea to retailers in 2011, and now we have before our eyes KYVAN® Foods. As stated by Reggie, “It’s my goal to pass down to my kids (Kyla & Kavan) and to everyone the gift passed down to me… An Appreciation Of Good Food.” Thanks and God Bless! “Appreciate The Goodness!”