By Carson McKinney
Video by Carson McKinney
Don’t fly the coop out of Oxford until you’ve tried the wings at Southern Coop.
Local entrepreneurs Jennifer and James Hudson opened Southern Coop, located at 1120 North Lamar Boulevard, on Nov. 3, 2018. Though the pair have owned other businesses in Oxford over the years, including construction and real estate, Southern Coop marks their entrance into the restaurant industry.
“James knew there was a market that was not being reached, so he decided that this was a business venture he would like to make,” Jennifer Hudson said. “I was interested, but certainly owning a restaurant was not something we had done before, so it was something we talked about and considered for quite some time. We prayed about it consistently to the Lord for what our business path was, and things began to fall into place for us to open this restaurant.”
Southern Coop locally sources its chicken from Sanderson Farms and goes through an average of 30 to 50 cases of chicken wings and 25 cases of boneless wings and tenders per week. Many of their almost 30 different wing flavors are made in-house daily, the most popular of which are honey gold and lemon pepper. Other menu items include 20 different sandwiches and wraps, 10 appetizers involving chicken and salads.
“Not everybody eats chicken wings,” Hudson said. “We want a variety of foods that anyone can come in and receive here and have a great meal, whether you eat chicken wings, or you don’t.”
The Hudsons advertise Southern Coop through social media, word-of-mouth and community service initiatives like offering 10 percent off on all meals on Mondays for police officers, firefighters and first responders and working alongside the Lafayette County baseball and softball teams.
“We want to be a valued and honored member of this community and give back through different community projects,” Hudson said. “Through that, we feel like the community will get to know us on a better basis.”
Jennifer and James say they don’t have any gimmicks to distinguish themselves from their competition except a desire to remain family-friendly, local friendly and Oxford visitor friendly while serving fresh food.
“We want them to come in and have a relaxed atmosphere and to get great quality food every time they come here along with excellent customer service,” Hudson said.