40 Years in Business, the Owner of L.A.’s Honey’s Kettle Restaurant Has Mastered Surviving and Thriving

Vincent Williams has been in the fried chicken business for almost 40 years. In his tenure as a business owner, he’s been through it all: his Culver City restaurant Honey’s Kettle has survived lack of funding, a devastating fire, the Great Recession, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, he’s been a witness to decades of social change and racial tension in his native Los Angeles. Below, he reflects on what’s he’s seen, heard, and lived through. — as told to Lindsay Blakely

I was born in 1955 and moved to a perfectly integrated neighborhood in Pasadena in 1960. When the riots in L.A. happened in 1965, we were as frightened as anyone else–there was a scary level of lawlessness and fire and police in the streets. 

When I was 15, Pasadena decided to integrate its schools, which went against the grain in a lot of other

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