With the arrival of cooking apps, food blogs and meal delivery services it can be difficult to make a lasting impact in today’s food industry. Hawkins House of Burgers, a Black-owned restaurant in Watts, has managed to do just that.

This family burger joint distinguishes itself not only by their delicious signature bacon cheeseburgers, but also by investing in the surrounding community.

“I have come to the conclusion that you give the community respect, they’ll give you respect,” said Cynthia Hawkins, owner of Hawkins House of Burgers. “This is their business so they treat it as such. My dad always said ‘you take care of the community and they will always take care of you.’”

Hawkins’ father started the business shortly after he moved to Watts from Arkansas in 1939 and the restaurant has gained a well-earned reputation for treating customers with love and respect over the years.

The family’s enthusiasm and commitment to hard work has trickled down to the employees as well, many of whom are from Watts and have earned college and post-graduate degrees while working at the restaurant.

Since its founding, Hawkins House of Burgers has grown to be one of the most popular restaurants in the country, with appearances on the Travel Channel, NPR and more.

Watch our exclusive interview with Cynthia Hawkins about Hawkins House of Burgers (above), then check out our entire #InOurCities series here: ebony.com/inourcities