Philadelphia restaurateur KeVen Parker, who was the sole proprietor of Simply Delicious Caterers, Café 3801, Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food Café, Live Your Life Entertainment and the KeVen Parker Soul Food Café, died on Jan. 14, 2021. Parker was 57.
“My life is torn,” said Lynette Saunders, Parker’s sister in a statement. “My brother was most caring person in the world. There was never a time in my life when he was not there for me. My mom raised us well. Now I do not have my mom or my brother. My mom and brother were a team.”
Parker was a self-made shining star entrepreneur, one of contemporary Philadelphia’s great personalities and a rare visionary. From humble origins but strong roots, Parker grew up in West Philadelphia. Today, as successful businessman, overseeing six distinct entities, the corporate offices of The KeVen Parker Company are located in center city.
Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge (RBL) won best Soul Food from Black Enterprise Magazine. His latest venture is KPD Lifestyle, offering exquisite design pieces for the home, office and beyond, as well as fashion souvenirs and more.
Former President Bill Clinton, television and movie stars Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Mo’Nique and legendary Philadelphia recording artist Patti Labelle have all sampled Parker’s winning cuisine through one or more the KeVen Parker Company entities.
One might say that divine intervention played a part in Parker’s success. But those close to him know that hard work, dedication, long hours and an uncompromising commitment to excellence, are the ingredients in Parker’s recipe for achieving an ever-growing of success.
As a very young child, Parker would observe and help his mother Joyce Parker, as she labored lovingly over her neighborhood-famous southern creations. Joyce Parker would patiently explain the details and nuances of crafting extraordinary satisfying Soul Food.
Parker’s wildly successful South Street BYOB, Ms. Tootsie’s Soul Food Café, is named for his mom and her famous penchant for Tootsie’s Rolls. The neighboring Ms. Tootsie’s RBL taken in his Parker’s moniker to a new level of sophistication and is a living testimony to Parker’s boundless style and verve for contemporary design.
Parker was committed to giving back to his community with some 55 individuals in his employ. The KeVen Parker Company community outreach includes the Youth Adult Division, giving young men and women the opportunity to work for a progressive and upwardly mobile company while gaining valuable skills in an entrepreneurial and success-driven environment.
Parker readily admits that is with the help of prayer, counsel from family, and friends and mentors, have helped him along his path to success. The KeVen Parker Company has flourished because of Parker’s strong dedication to his company, his peers, Philadelphia’s African American community, and his strong beliefs. And always, the focus of the KeVen Parker Company is on a commitment to complete customer satisfaction, attention to detail and exceeding expectations.
Parker is survived by his sister Lynette Saunders, three nephews, aunt Laura Garfield and a host of family and friends.