Food for the soul and from the soul in Roseville
24 Aug 2022
News, Success Stories, Choose Roseville
Customers come to Adam Randall’s restaurant in the Rosedale Mall with certain expectations. With a name like Adam’s Soul to Go, that assumption starts with collard greens, beans and rice, smoked chicken wings and more. While those dishes are mainstays on the menu, the name has another meaning for Randall, more about the feeling and heart he puts into his fare.
“Regardless of culture, every family has that favorite entree or recipe that is part of every gathering or special meal,” he said. “The dish is made with heart and soul - that’s real soul food to me.”
Randall opened his restaurant in November 2020, as space became available in the Rosedale Center’s Potluck, a ‘food hall celebrating Minnesota’s thriving culinary scene.’ Randall describes Adams Soul to Go as a unique rib joint with soul food and a little bit of Mexican street food.
“We are unique because there is no soul food in Roseville and very little to find in the Twin Cities,” he said.
Randall is proud of his menu, which has developed over the years from the influence of friends and family. He was raised by two foster mothers, who taught him to appreciate the value of cooking for himself and gave him a sense of family. The family tradition continues at Adam’s Soul to Go with Randall’s youngest son Turner. Between the two, they do about 98% of the prep work for the food they offer.
The menu has smoked ribs and wings, jerk chicken and Carne Asada. A customer favorite is the Pulled Pork Sandwich, slow smoked for hours and served traditionally or in a Mexican Aztec marinade called Cochinita Pibil.
“The flavor surprises most people,” Randall said. “It is a tremendous compliment to hear customers say it tastes like what they remember from their youth or what they had in Mexico City.”
He likes to work in periodic specials, from shrimp and grits, jambalaya and fried catfish to the ‘Minnesota Fair Fare’ now, featuring items like nachos with corn chips cooked to order.
Randall always wanted to be in the restaurant business and jumped at the opportunity to be in Roseville at Potluck, a very different take on the traditional food court with atypical food. The businesses in Potluck are not chains, are all Minnesota-based and are very chef-driven.
“Potluck offers customers an excellent variety of pasta, burgers, sweets, salads and more,” he said. “A group can have ten different entrees independently, but sit and enjoy them together, just like a potluck dinner at Grandma’s house.”
Randall said Potluck is a reflection of the attitude the City of Roseville has toward diversifying dining options.
“Rosedale has been very open and supportive, which makes me feel very welcome here,” he said.
This November will be two years of existence for Adam’s Soul to Go and it has been a good experience so far, said Randall. Like most businesses this year, he has experienced supply chain issues, like the difficulties of getting dry and paper goods and increasing costs, like the 40-pound bag of wings he had purchased for about $70 going up to $100. He would love to expand to a brick-and-mortar business in the future, but the challenge will be the financing.
“The restaurant business is not for everyone; everyone has a critical opinion and there are times it can be stressful, but Turner has a way of keeping me centered and relaxed,” he said. “But it is special to receive what I consider the ultimate compliment, when a guest sits down to eat their meal, then comes back to tell you how much they enjoyed it.”
The Roseville Economic Development Authority (REDA) coordinates and administers economic development and redevelopment initiatives for the City of Roseville, MN. It serves as a comprehensive resource for businesses seeking to startup and grow in the area. In addition to prioritizing business retention and expansion, the REDA connects area employers with the dedicated and talented workforce they need to succeed and thrive.