Women’s History Month: Carolyn Williams Follows Dream To Open Vineland Bistro


By Jenae Padilla | Guest Blogger AC JosepH Media

VINELAND — When you walk into Carolyn’s Bistraud (Bistro) you are welcomed with a big warm smile and the smell of tasty food.

The restaurant is inviting and cozy. The tables are set in a way to make you feel like you are home.

“Good morning, would you like to place an order?” is what you hear over the soft background music. You may just be there to order food, but you get the calming assurance that you are well cared for.

Carolyn Williams and her husband/partner Rodney Williams. Photo courtesy Jenae Padilla.

The establishment is new to South Jersey, but Carolyn Williams has been serving her community for many years. As a licensed Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) she has built her career in service to others.

Working in assisted living facilities to jailhouses. Her experience includes food prep, menu building and business management. While cooking at the Cape May County Jail as head chef, she was promoted to foodservice director.


Williams was the first African American and first woman to ever hold the title. It was shortly after that she stepped out on faith to open her own bistro.

Over the last 15 years she has worked to perfect her craft. Post graduating with a dual degree in Applied Science and Culinary Arts from Atlantic Cape Community College, Williams took her childhood passion, and her restaurant was born.

She doesn’t run the place alone. Williams is accompanied by her No. 1 fan, business partner and husband, Rodney.

Just because her menu sports southern comfort food, don’t think Williams isn’t using her culinary skills and know-how. Her style of cooking incorporates healthy food prep and a spin on those beloved classics.

Inside Carolyn Bistraud. Photo courtesy of Jenae Padilla.

Her dream for the future is of course to keep growing. To realize the dream and vision that God gave to her. Fueled by God and taking inspiration from Albert Einstein, Williams is determined to see her dream come true.

Carolyn’s Bistro isn’t just about the tasty meals you will have. It is a space in the community that people can come to host small events, meetings and seminars.

Though the Bistro’s grand opening is to be decided, you can still place an order for her delicious food. Carolyn’s Bistro is found at 13 N. East Boulevard in Vineland. The phone number is 856-392-1402.

The hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hours Sunday are from 2-6 p.m.

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