Restauranteur - Chef - Visionary
Vonda McPherson discovered first-hand the successful nuances of professional catering in the high pressured environment of corporate America. During her career transition, Vonda experienced an epiphany of sorts and a restaurateur was born. With a leap of faith, she left the security of her successful corporate career for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship in the risky and sometimes volatile arena of restaurant ownership to pursue her own dreams and not those of others.
In 1998, Vonda McPherson opened her very first restaurant venture, Shacks BBQ, in a bustling downtown business district in Elizabeth, NJ. Shacks quickly became a destination for traditional Southern BBQ cuisine and a neighborhood haven for a community in desperate need of quality food. The sheer demand prompted Vonda to expand both her menu offerings as well as her client roster, and the makings of Vonda K's Catering and Events were meticulously fashioned into a formal corporation. Vonda has always kept very close ties to the community, serving a vibrant congregation of over 700 members as Director for the Culinary Arts Ministry of The Shiloh Baptist Church of Plainfield, NJ.
Vonda McPherson launched her second restaurant venture, The Greenhouse Café, in partnership with Newark Housing Authority in an effort to reinvent the common cafeteria by introducing healthier, yet equally delicious options. After the success of the Greenhouse Café and the inevitable evolution of Vonda K's Catering and Events, Vonda launch her third restaurant venture, Vonda’s Kitchen. Nestled in the heart of Newark, word of Vonda’s Kitchen ground-breaking cuisine quickly spread throughout Newark and its surrounding areas and landed Vonda an opportunity serve as an official VIP NFL caterer for the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII.
As the first African American-owned jazz superclub in the City of Newark in nearly 40 years, Vonda McPherson launched her latest venture, Duke’s Southern Table Restaurant. Draped in the sophisticated swag of urban elegance, Duke’s offers a musical and culinary experience that embodies the soulful sounds of jazz in an upscale restaurant experience. Vonda has appeared on the Food Channel and has been a fixture throughout the NJ/NY metropolitan region showcasing her talents. She continues to work within the community, ensuring that there is an emphasis on quality, healthy food and great entertainment.