Photo Credit: Brotherly Grub
Black-Owned Brotherly Grub Serves Southern-Inspired Cuisine With A Philly Flair
Meet Tanesha Trippett, owner of Jacobs Catering, Jacobs Northwest Venue, and Brotherly Grub Café and food truck. She was born and raised in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, however, her family is from Savannah, GA, where she often traveled during summers with her mother to visit family. It was during these visits that Tanesha became inspired by watching the incredible women in her family — the Jacobs women.
“I would always look forward to going to my Aunt Glo and Uncle George’s house,” said Tanesha. “My aunt would make all of my favorite things: sweet potato pie, crab rice, shrimp, biscuits, salmon croquettes, strawberry cake, and more. My mother’s biological mother passed when my mother was only four, so her sisters and older children were left to raise my mother.”
Tanesha’s great aunt Madie served as her grandmother. She watched her grandmother study for her GED test while simultaneously taking care of the house and cooking a full dinner and dessert each night, along with what seemed like a million cakes to sell at bake sales.
“My grandmother was so very impressive. She always emphasized ownership, having an education, and trademarking. I watched her get a GED at 60 years old, start and run a business, and go back to school to become a minister, graduating from seminary. My fondest and most memorable days were at her house with dinner and music in the dining room. These experiences were my inspiration for starting a catering company with music. My goal was to open a venue, so I began researching to find out how to become a chef.”
A mother of two children busy with sports and competition cheerleading, and working a full-time career in finance, Tanesha found herself having to put her goals of going back to school on the backburner until her children were older. In the meanwhile, she prepared for that day by immersing herself in the culinary world. She read books, subscribed to culinary magazines, and attended tastings; anything she could do to prepare herself to be a culinary student and ultimately, a chef.
“On my 35th birthday, I wrote a five-year plan, which included going back to school, getting my degree, and starting my business. I read a book by TD Jakes, Reposition Yourself. I did a lot of praying. I listened to a lot of sermons where the preacher focused on the topic of destiny.”
In October 2010, Tanesha started culinary school and graduated September 2014. In January 2016, she started Jacobs Catering, and in 2017, she opened the Brotherly Grub food truck, which in 2019, expanded into a café in the same section of Philly she was born and raised in.
“My initial plan with the food truck was to offer mobile catering. I started to vend at events around the city to raise awareness about by catering company and how we could deliver a food truck experience to our guests’ events. We received a city contract to vend at Love Park, then at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”
Today, customers flock to the Brotherly Grub food truck for favorites like crab cakes, fried shrimp, and their variety of unique tacos, which include Thai potato tacos, shrimp tacos, smoked brisket tacos, and pork shoulder tacos. The truck also offers an assortment of cheesesteaks, including a Philly original ribeye dubbed the OG cheesesteak, a chicken cheesesteak, a smoked brisket cheesesteak, and a cauliflower cheesesteak.
“Our Philly OG is made with local ribeye steaks. We marinate our chicken in our house made marinade, and we make the chicken fresh everyday. The brisket used in our smoked brisket cheesesteak is smoked for 12 hours, and our signature vegan cauliflower cheesesteak is made with vegan cheese and a vegan remoulade.”
Providing dishes that are Southern-inspired with a Philly flair, Tanesha ensures her staff also offers Southern hospitality to each and every guest. Menu favorite at Jacobs Catering include the Chilean seabass, lollipop lambchops with seasonal veggies, red snapper, nori wraps, lentil soup, chowders, and specialty desserts. Brunch is served at the café, and guests can also enjoy personalized intimate dinners and private events outside of the cafés normal operating hours.
Ever expanding, Tanesha recently signed a lease for an event space in Mt. Airy, in which she plans to showcase local visual and performing artists. Her vision for the space includes a great deal of community events, from fundraising to nuptials.