Trenton, New Jersey welcomed a new restaurant to the downtown area on October 1, 2019. At Tracey’s Kitchen, located at 241 East Front Street in the heart of the Trenton State Government office buildings, African-inspired cuisine is now being served.
With an inspiring mix of soul, seafood, and American cuisine, this eat in or take out restaurant features live entertainment and hosts private events with catering available as well.
“Cooking from the heart and feeding to the soul,” Tracey’s Kitchen started in the kitchen of Trachele Johnson’s home in 2016. Today, boasting a following of over 2000 people in the city, the business has grown through word of mouth, both in neighborhoods and across social media.
“Tracey’s Kitchen has grown so much that we out grew ‘the kitchen’ and now I have my first restaurant!,” says Trachele Johnson who serves as the restaurant’s culinary chef.
As the new operator of the 2,500 square foot restaurant just steps away from City Hall, Johnson is a first-time restaurant owner who is eager to immerse others with her cooking-style that she learned from her mother growing up.
After her mother’s passing, she started an at-home business named after her mother, Tracey’s Kitchen, pursuing her passion in the culinary arts. “I started off making African food around the house weekly for my mom and sister. Everyone used to love it,” said Johnson.
“As the years grew, my clientele grew as well, so I decided to add other dishes to my menu including macaroni and cheese, yams, fried chicken, fried fish etc. As time grew on, I realized that cooking is something I loved doing. I make sure all my food is made with love and I know that my mother is with me every step of the way.”
Johnson’s plans for the restaurant are to honor her mother’s memory and inspire others with her cooking just as her mother did to her. “My mother made sure everyone ate. Just as I do in my kitchen daily, she made sure our entire neighborhood was well fed,” said Johnson. “Even though I miss her presence every day, I know her spirit lives through me with the blessing of food.”
Preceding the official 3 p.m. opening yesterday, Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora along with North Ward Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson and Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber President & CEO Peter Crowley, officiated the restaurant’s ribbon-cutting on October 1, 2019, Johnson’s mother’s birthday.
“Even though this will be a new experience outside of my kitchen,” said Johnson, “I am completely ready to excel and learn new things that will come my way. I appreciate Keith DiGrazio and Barry Bielat from Bielat Santore & Company for giving me this opportunity.”