From the Archives: A look into the history of K&W Cafeterias
Years of hard work, dedication, and vision have gone into making K&W one of the most beloved restaurant institutions in the south. We are thrilled to carry the designation of NC Family Business of the Year. Presented by the Wake Forest University Family Business Center and Business NC magazine, this award recognizes the achievements made by family-owned businesses and their contributions to their communities. Family is one of our main values at K&W, and we always look for ways to take care of yours and ours!
K&W began as a small coffee shop named The Carolinian, in downtown Winston-Salem. Grady T. Allred, Sr. started working there on Thanksgiving Day in 1935; only to discover the business was not making much money. Through hard work, Allred managed to acquire one third interest in the business. Around 1937, the original investors (T.K. Knight and his brothers-in-law Thomas, Kenneth, and William Wilson) decided to change the name to K&W Restaurant, and over the next few years, business began to increase, leading to Allred becoming the sole owner of K&W in 1941.
Allred soon involved his entire family in this new venture. His wife, Vivian, worked as a cashier, and Allred’s brothers Ted & Coy joined the business as managers. And soon, a second location opened in High Point. In December of 1951, a fire forced the Winston-Salem location to close for several months – which lead to its reopening, with a slight twist, as a new restaurant/cafeteria combination. This style became so popular, that Allred converted both locations entirely to cafeterias. Thus, K&W cafeteria was born! Whenever a new location opened, Allred’s reputation for “good food at reasonable prices” followed. And so, the legacy continues to be passed down within the Allred family today.
Centered on a strong family foundation, we would love you to share with us how K&W brings your family together!