Felicia From 'Friday' Is Bringing Vegan Soul Food To The Hood
Human Interest

Felicia From 'Friday' Is Bringing Vegan Soul Food To The Hood

Angela Means Kaaya has starred in many iconic 90s pop culture staples, like House Party, In Living Color, and Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, but her breakthrough was when she became everyone's favorite in Friday, where she became the center of one of the most iconic phrases in 90s movie history: "Bye Felicia!"

But let it be known that in her present life, Angela isn't asking for any handouts. Her new role is the boss lady and innovative creator of Jackfruit Cafe, a vegan soul food restaurant located in Jefferson Park in Los Angeles, California.

Jackfruit Cafe - which is inside of an old donut shop - serves an array of meatless soul food staples, from mac and cheese, to candied yams, and collard greens. The cafe's menu is centered around the staple fruit that exists in the name; jackfruit is from the breadfruit family which contains a flesh that gives a meaty consistency when cooked. She uses the fruit as a core base for BBQ, Indian vindaloo style, and a jerk seasoning style. Aside from her staple soul food selections, Angela also uses the jackfruit for plates like "carne asada" tacos or in a bowl with rice, beans, and plantains. Each plate is carefully crafted and maintains the soul that consumers often look for when opting to eat out.

In an interview with MUNCHIES, she said:

"Coming into the hood, I had to do this. I had to do a soul food spread […] to get people's attention and to let them know I do know what I'm doing. I can cook. Trust me, I got you."

Angela serves as the cook, the owner, and the sole employee but you can still taste the love from Mom throughout her food. Her love for veganism is deep-rooted, back to her family farm in Michigan where she learned how to pick, clean, and grow vegetables even before the Felicia braids. It was in that same farm where she cultivated a devotion to animals and a plant-based lifestyle. The skills that people can taste from Jackfruit Cafe were whipped into perfection as she grew to love cooking for her son Brad Kuuya Jr., the quarterback for the Detroit Lions.

Angela's cafe sits obscured in the neighborhood of Jefferson Park, the same area where she witnessed the riots following the assault on Rodney King back in 1991. She wanted to grow her business in a "food desert," where there is a need for more nutritional options; the socioeconomic climate of the area renders it almost impossible to find healthy options in the area. McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut dominate every corner of the neighborhood and Angela wanted to create a healthy option for the people in the environment that she holds dear to her heart.

With each customer, she hopes to educate them on what veganism is and the benefits that succeed.

"I have people that just saw 'What the Health' and they're coming in because they don't know how to be vegan. They don't [even] know what vegan is."

Though we all know Angela as the beloved Felicia who wanted to borrow Craig's car, her multifaceted nature is nothing to get confused. Her repertoire includes multiple 90s pop-culture fundamental films, stand-up comedy, and owning a production company. Angela claims that she is talented with "touch and timing" and brings it with her into every venture she immerses herself in. It is evident in the way she handles a flow of customers in and out of the cafe with a one-woman team.

If you ever head to Jackfruit Cafe, ring the bell that reads "Bye Felicia!", but know that you are also saying hello to a full-blown business woman serving delicious plant-based food in the same neighborhood that she planted seeds in years ago.

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