Coco Momma’s reopens, fostering community on former Ronald’s Field

Published 7:20 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Coco Momma’s Family Dining in Highland Home reopened on Oct. 6 at 4 p.m., just in time to serve “made-from-scratch” dinners to local residents who view owners, Ronald and Corinna Davis, and their staff as part of an extended community family.

Sardis community native Shirley Yarbrough frequented Coco Momma’s two or three times each week to see friends and neighbors until the restaurant closed in February 2020. For Yarbrough the reopening didn’t come a minute too soon.

“It was just like losing family when they closed,” Yarbrough recalled. “They have the best cooking and the best waitresses. I love every one of them, and I’m so happy they reopened.”

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Many former staff members returned to help, Corinna noted, including waitresses Kaydra Walker and Jayda Stallions, and cooks Labrisha Holston and Sheila Page. The restaurant’s opening went well, Corinna explained, and the community showed up “en masse” to welcome their return.

“Last week was wonderful,” she exclaimed. “I feel truly blessed that the community has supported me the way they have. [Reopening] was like it truly was like not even closing our doors. We have that much support.”

The restaurant first opened in 2014 as the Snack Shack, on the spot once known as Ronald’s Field, where generations of Crenshaw County residents played softball and gathered with friends from 1985 until the fields closed in 2005.

The Snack Shack building formerly housed the field’s concession stand and was built by Ronald with lumber reclaimed from Fort Deposit buildings. A year after opening the Snack Shack, the Davises changed the name to Coco Momma’s and expanded the building to include dine-in space with handmade tables and walls decorated with reclaimed lumber from the Helicon community.

The Davises closed the restaurant in 2020 when Corinna’s health challenges required her to undergo a hysterectomy.

“We made the decision in Dec. 2019 to close in February, just prior to my surgery and right before COVID-19,” Corinna reflected. “But there’s no doubt in my mind that God wasn’t in that, because that’s when COVID-19 hit. I just truly believe it was God saying, ‘It’s time.’ So, we closed then.”  

Two different restaurants opened briefly in the space during the next two years and Corinna said the decision to reopen came after subsequent lease deals failed to solidify.

Corinna said she finds satisfaction in once again offering the community “something above and beyond what they can get somewhere else” and locals like Sardis resident Ruth Kiser expressed their joy over Coco Momma’s return.

“I like the food,” Kiser declared. “I like the people and I like our waitress. It’s convenient and it’s good.”

Ronald also recognizes the role Coco Momma’s plays in fostering community in just the same way Ronald’s Field did for two decades.

“We gather around food,” he reflected. “Breaking the bread of fellowship is biblical. We love being a part of that.”

Coco Momma’s opens Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. for lunch and dinner and offers catering as well as private reservation opportunities for showers, parties, and reunions. For more information, call 334-537-4747.