Southern Comfort Kitchen Cooking up Experiences for Entrepreneurship Students

Two Kent State entrepreneurship students have turned their passion for Louisiana cuisine into a new pop-up restaurant, the Southern Comfort Kitchen. They hope the project eventually will fund their purchase of a food truck, which is their ultimate goal.


Water Street Tavern hosted Southern Comfort’s first pop-up restaurant on Oct. 25, where the pair served up New Orleans-style gumbo, shrimp, crabmeat and corn bisque. Proceeds from the pop-up will go toward their food truck business.

Southern Comfort Kitchen Logo


Founder and CEO Will Matthews and his partner Zack Mottershead are both seniors majoring in entrepreneurship. Their idea started as a class project, but it grew into a business based on Mr. Matthews’ background.


Mr. Matthews was born and raised in New Orleans, so the pair  found it fitting to bring some of that southern flavor to the Kent community. Mr. Matthews’ family worked in the food industry while he was growing up, and he is showcasing some family recipes for his Ohio clientele.


While Mr. Matthews brings flavorful food to the table, Mr. Motterhead takes care of  the marketing side of the Southern Comfort business.


“By hosting this event and several others, we plan on taking the funds raised and putting them towards purchasing a food truck to serve authentic meals to the city of Kent and the students and faculty at Kent State,” Mr. Matthews said in a statement.


The pair of students have plenty of plans. They hope to bring more pop-ups to Kent in the future so they can reach their $15,000 fundraising goal for the food truck. Eventually, they hope to open a permanent restaurant.


For more information about Kent State's Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, visit


For more information on the entrepreneurship program, visit


POSTED: Monday, November 5, 2018 10:56 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 05:33 AM
Devon Recktenwald