Soul Slice™ will be a first-to-market Biscuit Crust™ pizza chain rooted in a B Corp structure dedicated to employee development with wealth-building at scale.
5849 San Pablo Ave, Oakland – April 7, 2021 – Soul Slice, a California benefit corporation, today announced that it will open its first location in Oakland on San Pablo Avenue with a focused mission of providing an economic starting point for an under-supported workforce. Renowned restaurateur Karter Louis inspires/drives this concept and mission, along with an experienced team creating a growth opportunity fueled by an assertive expansion plan to other key markets including Harlem, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, among others.
“I’m the third of four children in a large, close-knit family where cooking was an expression of love, nourishing much more than the body” says Louis, Soul Slice founder and CEO. “At the core, Soul Slice is traditional African American soul food served on a biscuit crust. But our unique restaurant model is so much more than pizza. This is a company grounded in a mission to provide personal and professional development as well as a livable wage for the entire team.” All employees are paid a full-time salary, share in the profits, and ultimately can participate in ownership. “The Soul Slice ethos is to be of service — to each other as a team, to our patrons, and to our communities. Soul food conjures spirituality and warmth. Pizza brings forth comfort. Imagine them together,” proclaims Louis.
With over three decades in the restaurant and design industries and over six brands under his belt, he’s no stranger to the Bay area, and was one of the masterminds behind San Francisco’s beloved Samovar Tea Lounge. He then went on to create Hillbilly Tea in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and unexpectedly went on to open a location of the Appalachian tea cafe in Shanghai. Reflects Louis, “I really thought I was done with creating restaurants, but witnessing the pandemic’s devastating effect on the restaurant industry, I saw this as an opportunity to do better. Soul Slice is so important to me. I hope it inspires others to create more equitable restaurant ventures.”
On a deeper level, Louis considers Soul Slice to be a legacy project: “I have always dreamed of doing a soul food venture to honor my roots. Our ancestors have not been recognized for all the skill, knowledge, and soul they brought to this country from West Africa. Soul Slice is truly an American concept. Soul food on a biscuit is as American as you can get. To honor this history, Soul Slice will host its grand opening celebration on Juneteenth, of course!”