M&M’s Southern Cafe feeding souls and minds with home cooking

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 9:59 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A dining experience unlike any other in Northern Nevada.

“When I want to impress a friend, White, Black, Asian, whatever, and take them to eat, this is where I go,” said Scott Tillman, who drives more than an hour from Fallon to eat at M&M’s Southern Cafe in Sparks.

From alligator and ox tail, to frog legs and catfish, M&M’s not only nourishes customers’ bodies, but their minds as well. Tillman visits to get his favorite meal and have good conversation.

“I’ve always felt like I belong here,” he said.

“We try to do the best that we can with the food,” M&M’s owner Mitchell Moore said. “That’s why we call it soul food. We put our hearts into it.”

Now Moore wants others to put their hearts into something: equality. Moore did not run into any issues getting a business license to open up M&M’s. But he did have to think about how being black could affect his dream.

“(I had to think about) getting the trust of the people who own the building to allow (me) to come in because of (my) race,” he said.

Over the past five months Moore has not seen racial unrest affect his business. He still sees the same familiar faces coming to support him.

“We really don’t think anything of (customers coming and going). We think everyone is equal anyway.”

Bonding over food is just one way people of different races come together to hear one another.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of black or white, and getting laws put in place because of what color or nationality someone is, I think change comes (from) a change of heart,” Moore said. “If you don’t change the heart of a person (laws) won’t matter anyway.”

Constructive conversations with a side of home cooking is what M&M’s is all about. The Moores want to feed more than just their customers’ stomachs.

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