DUNLAP, Ill. (WMBD) – A Dunlap couple is bringing Southern homestyle food to the north and it’s all thanks to a dream.

“It’s always been a big passion of mine. I come from a very big family where grandma had 10 kids and she also raised me. So I don’t know how to cook in small portions,” Amber Woods said as she laughed.

She finds peace passing the time with her passion for cooking.

“I feel like just cooking is just how you just–is my reliever–a stress reliever. I feel like you’re upset, it’s my way of soothing any situation really,” she said.

Now as the owners of The Woods Country Kitchen in Dunlap, Amber and her husband, Sterlyn Woods Jr. are living out a dream come true, literally. 

“She said she that had a dream that she had a restaurant in Dunlap,” Sterlyn said.

After working through some reluctance, Sterlyn said an opportunity quickly became available. On September 20, 2021, the two opened the quaint restaurant inside of a local gas station. They say the community support has been overwhelming. 

“This community has opened their arms up tremendously for us.”

Amber Woods

Amber classifies their style as Southern homestyle food, offering items like cheeseburgers, chicken wings and onion rings with homemade sauce.

“Just being raised around a big family and we’ve always believed in our Sunday dinners and things like that,” said Amber. “And so that’s just always been a really big dream of mine.”

“It’s been overachieving to me because I wasn’t really in… But now I’m all in.”

sterlyn woods jr.

In the future, Amber would like to expand the menu to include soul food. She also has plans to add another chain and open a banquet hall while still remaining in the current location.

The Woods Country Kitchen is located at 403 N. 4th St. in Dunlap.