Greenwood Soul Mates — Valour Taylor
What is “soul?” For us, soul is that special something each person brings to their community, forming a colorful tapestry of stories, talents, cultural experiences and more. Greenwood’s tapestry is composed of dozens of unique individuals who are why the city is the epitome of its mantra – “Delta Spirit, Southern Soul”. Their rich stories and deep connections to the region’s food, music, and history make us who we are as a town and a wonderful place to visit. These are Greenwood’s “Soul Mates”.
Today’s Soul Mate is Valour Taylor, Chef and Owner of The Bread and Butter Shoppe, a hugely popular gourmet deli in Greenwood that caters to the taste buds of both locals and tourists. The menu features a wide variety of options, from classic turkey clubs to plant-based “Beyond Burgers,” ensuring that everyone is satisfied.
Upon entering The Bread and Butter Shoppe, you’ll embark on a one-of-a-kind culinary journey. The way Valour Taylor interacts with guests makes it seem like she’s lived in Greenwood her entire life. Truth be told, she’s only lived here a few years, with her arrival almost serendipitous, best described as “destiny.”
Growing up in Canton, Mississippi, Valour’s childhood revolved around her passion for food.
By the time I was 11, I cooked dinner for my family almost every night. I’ve always enjoyed it because that’s how I show my love: I cook for you!”
Valour’s love of cooking knows no bounds. As a young girl, she’d call up local restaurant chefs, asking for their recipes! At first, Valour thought this culinary drive was simply a passion project. It wasn’t until she moved to Arkansas many years later that she began turning her fiery passion into a career when she started a gourmet line of foods penned after her grandmother, Daisy Mae’s Gourmet.
While committed to balancing two other jobs as a teacher and working part-time at the Department of Agriculture, Valour couldn’t help but remember her dream of working in the kitchen full-time. As her marriage was coming to an end, an opportunity arose to lease a building in Greenwood and start fresh. Valour felt as if God was telling her this was the right path, and she decided to embrace what was in front of her – changing her life and scenery significantly.
That day, I put in my two weeks’ notice to the Department of Agriculture, signed the lease for the building on February 1st, and by February 27th, I was pulling into Greenwood with plans of opening a winery – knowing all too well that still wasn’t God’s plan for me.”
The Bread and Butter Shoppe was only meant to be a temporary gig to make ends meet while the winery came to fruition, only for the sandwiches to be so successful that they evolved into the business we know and love today!
Despite not being a native of Greenwood, Valour swiftly established herself as a local fixture, thanks to her delectable culinary offerings and the relationships she’s formed here.
When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone. Yet, people have been generous with their time, sharing stories and supporting the business. I’ve gotten to know so many people in a way I probably never would have if I weren’t feeding them. I feel like I’m giving myself on a plate. Then in return, they share back with me.”
When asked what “soul” means to her, Valour replied:
To me, soul has a spiritual meaning. It definitely lies within us, but there’s also a part we leave behind.In a sense, Greenwood is haunted— in a good way— some incredible souls have moved through this city, and as I live and work here every day, I hope to leave something behind that can still be felt when I’m gone.”
Speaking further to her thoughts on what makes up Greenwood’s soul, Valour doesn’t skip a beat.
The soul of Greenwood purely lies in its people, and then you can add the music, the history, and of course, the food. But the people who live here are the main ingredient that makes our vibrant city come alive.”
Food and friendship are not the only contributions Valour lends to Greenwood. She also is set on broadening the town’s horizons by instilling her service-minded mentality in future generations.
“I do add a bit of diversity to the food culture here and maybe an expanded view of what food is, what it does, and what it can be. I want people to be empowered to make [healthier] food like this at home or when traveling, shifting the focus to younger people, giving them the tools to take up the torch.”
Valour’s favorite thing about Greenwood is not surprising, given her investment in others and involvement in the community.
“The people are my favorite thing about Greenwood. The culture here is very Southern, and I’m proud of that. What I find everywhere are hospitality and kindness.”
At last, if Valour Taylor could describe Greenwood in one word, it would be: “Home.”
Read more about all of our Greenwood Soul Mates!
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