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March 23, 2022

By Rebecca Mohr, Capital University Communications Manager

Feeding the Soul of the Community

A beacon of light in her community, Serena Travis, MTS ’24 has never limited herself to only being one thing. A woman, mother, wife, business owner, community member, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary student – there’s very little that Travis can’t do.

“My father is a motivational speaker. He always says, ‘live full, die empty.’ A lot of times, we limit ourselves to focusing on ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ It’s just one thing. We’ve been conditioned to only do one thing at a time,” said Travis.

“If you have a nudge to do it, do it and see what happens. If it doesn’t’ work out, you’ll still be ok. With all the training from Trinity Seminary, I’m learning that no matter what, God is still with you. You’ll be ok. In the long run, it all works itself out.”

Travis’ entrepreneurship spirit, along with her love for food and people, led her to become a business owner and serve her community in a way that she hadn’t previously explored.

Originally a food truck that moved to a brick-and-mortar location in 2018, The Good Kitchen 614 serves up southern cooking that fills stomachs and nourishes souls.

“It’s the food that we love. It’s the food, of course, that’s not good to our hips and thighs, but we love it,” said Travis. “We want food that not just nourishes but also provides comfort and makes you laugh, makes you do a little happy dance.”

Despite being a relatively new restaurant at the start of the pandemic, The Good Kitchen 614 has kept its doors open and continues to provide an essential service that often goes unmet.

“We were allowed to stay open by governor’s orders, and at that time, we decided to continue to do meals for children who were out of school,” said Travis. “One in four children go to bed hungry. We realized that if schools closed, the kids around the neighborhood might not have a place to eat.”

Travis’ generosity extends to the elderly, people experiencing medical emergencies, and anyone dealing with financial hardship.

“If someone comes in and they’re hungry, we never send them away without food. We just use our discretion, and no one goes away hungry,” said Travis. “While we were successful in business a year before the pandemic hit, I really do feel that the business model of just giving away free food, during this time of need, during a time of stress, during a time we’re all spazzing out, was definitely divine intervention.”

Everyone has their own gifts, and Travis has continuously chosen to use hers to make a difference in her East Columbus neighborhood.

“We just do what needs to be done to make sure we’re still a viable force in the community,” said Travis. “If we know anything about the walk of Christ or the walk of humanity, Jesus fed a lot of people, all the time, be it by physical food or by spiritual nourishment.”

Travis felt the call of ministry the same year she opened The Good Kitchen 614, an energizing moment in time.

“I am of the mindset, now, that whatever is presented in front of me, whatever nudge I feel, whatever divine inspiration has in store for me, I’m going to pursue it,” said Travis. “When I get to my deathbed, I don’t want the ghost of my dreams, the ghost of my possibilities saying ‘Serena, we came to you and you did not give us life’.”

To learn more about The Good Kitchen 614, go to:

To learn more about Trinity Lutheran Seminary, go to