Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Downtown Kalamazoo

J. Gumbo’s, Your Kalamazoo Soul Food Destination

J.Gumbo's [Sharmeen Chauhdry / The Index] J.Gumbo's [Sharmeen Chauhdry / The Index]

Calling all Cajun and Creole food fans, J. Gumbo’s is open and ready for Kalamazoo College students to experience soul food.

The franchise opened its doors to the public in Aug. The Kalamazoo location is the first in the state of Michigan, with the next closest location in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gumbo’s offers a variety of Cajun style food ranging from red beans and rice to crawfish and jambalaya. Not only does it give Kalamazoo its own taste of the South, Gumbo’s offers a variety of vegetarian and gluten free options.

The atmosphere is inviting and fun with dim lighting, music and eye-catching paintings decorating the walls. The restaurant is cozy, offering tables and booths for guests to enjoy themselves. Gumbo’s is a cross between fast food and a sit down restaurant, perfect for busy college students.

“It’s something different, and you can’t get it anywhere else in Kalamazoo,” Kyle Odom, a current employee of the restaurant, said.

Odom helped set up Gumbo’s. Odom and the other employees focus on taking care of customers the minute they walk through the door. If a customer hasn’t been there before or are interested in trying something new, free samples are always an option.

Once you decide what you do want, you go through a buffet-style line where the employee fills your bowl with freshly made gumbo, stew, rice or whatever else you might be in the mood for that day. If you’re unable to decide; they have mix-bowls. You can get two entrees in one bowl for a dollar more. The prices are also college friendly, a meal ranging anywhere between $7-12.

Whether having the jambalaya as a meal or just grabbing the peach cobbler for dessert, Gumbo’s provides the people of Kalamazoo with the soul food we have been lacking.

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J. Gumbo’s, Your Kalamazoo Soul Food Destination