The history of the Kornbread Sandwich....
I was 8 years old when I came up with the idea of a Cornbread Sandwich. Looking for an afternoon snack, while watching television one day, I looked around the kitchen and found Mom's leftover cornbread from the night before. "Hmmmm", I thought, "I wonder if that would be good if I sliced it and put in ham and cheese and heated it up". I did and it was! So I ate cornbread sandwiches from then on every time there was leftover cornbread. Of course it was the crumbly kind that most people make and it did often fall apart however, I loved them anyway.
It wasn't until Mom and I were 2 years into opening our third restaurant that the idea came back to me again. As I was taking out a pan of broccoli cornbread from the oven, that we served along with Mom's fabulous Chicken and Dumplings, the smell brought me back to when I was 8. I thought once again, "Hmmmm, I wonder if others would like a Cornbread Sandwich like I do?" And do began the introduction of a new kind of sandwich that has swept, if not the country, this part of East Texas and beyond. The word is getting around.
But this wasn't Mama's cornbread, ya know the crumbly kind, it had to be perfected so it would hold up in your hands like any other sandwich and not fall apart. We took two years to get the secret recipe just right through trial and error and we think we got it down. Now in our 15th year of serving Kornbread Sandwiches and our almost two decades in business, we are pleased to have served tens of thousands of customers their first ever Kornbread Sandwich, a taste sensation, that has them coming back again and again. Oh, and don't forget the pies!
About the Owners
Sarah Rosetta Williams and her daughter, Kitt Williams moved to Jefferson, Texas from the Dallas area in 1992 and opened up a Bed & Breakfast called The Bluebonnet Inn where they served large country style breakfasts for their guests. They moved back to the Dallas area where Mom had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. They both now were working as adjunct Professors at Community Colleges while Sarah recovered from multiple surgeries following chemo treatments.
After losing their jobs at the colleges due to not having Masters degrees in the subjects they were teaching, they moved back to Jefferson. This time around, they decided to turn the B&B into a diner, living upstairs and making the downstairs a restaurant. Comfort food was on the menu so they named it Southern Comfort Inn and was open only on the weekends. Dressed in period costumes, it had a very down-home vibe that people responded to as well as loving the food. But it was off the beaten path, although close to the downtown area. It was time to find a place for it downtown.
They opened the doors as "Jefferson's House of Pies" on Austin St. during Jefferson's busy Candlelight Tour of Homes in 2003. They served both sweet and savory pies. After a few years, they outgrew the small space and found a building that needed renovating on Polk St. Here they came to their final and permanent name for their growing business, Kitt's Kornbread Sandwich & Pie Bar, once they realized that the sandwich was going to be the star of the restaurant and needed top billing.
They had hoped to franchise this business and had opened a second location in Carrollton, Texas when Sarah, after having been a 15 year survivor of Breast Cancer, was diagnosed now with Stage 4 Stomach cancer. Just three months into opening their new restaurant, on Memorial Day 2013, she passed away. Kitt moved back to Jefferson after closing the Carrollton location and has carried on with the help of her devoted Manager, Danielle Jones, who kept the Jefferson location going during her absence.
Kitt's Kornbread Sandwich & Pie Bar is a Jefferson attraction now bringing in guests from all over the world to try their first Kornbread Sandwich. In memory of Sarah Williams, it will carry on for many years to come.