As Princess Greene stirs a giant pot of seafood gumbo on her home cooking stove, a steam filled with the rich smell of spices, sausage, chicken, shrimp, and crab meat fills the room. Soon it will be dressed over jasmine rice, a combination that is a thorough baptism into the Creole cuisine that is characteristic of Greene’s heritage.
On Saginaw Street just a couple miles north of Carpenter Road, you’ll find Greene serving up her family’s classic recipes. She opened the Gumbo Trap less than a year ago, creating a new option in takeout that has people raving.
"Right now I'm like getting it how I really can, you know,” said Greene. “And I haven't given up because a lot of people, they like this food. They love it."
Greene, 39, became a certified nursing assistant and worked at Taco Bell before launching Gumbo Trap. All around her, she saw an entrepreneurial boom taking place in Flint, and figured it was never too late to toss her hat into the ring. While Flint offers a variety of roadside barbecue as well as takeout chicken and fish places, Greene noticed there wasn’t a gumbo place for miles — and she knew Flint residents were missing out.
Gumbo has a mass appeal and can cater to carnivores, vegetarians, and pescatarians of all sorts. It’s a family heirloom said Greene and Flint folks love it.
Greene grew up in the Beecher and Belleville, but her grandmother hailed from Wisner, Louisiana. She passed down those family tastes and cuisines to her daughter, who in turn taught Greene.
She now is introducing Southern staples including sweet honey cornbread, seafood ·or chicken) and sausage gumbo, French roll Po’ Boy sandwiches, and even beignets, the small fluffy deliciously sweet donuts that are a staple of New Orleans cuisine.
Greene initially built her business via word of mouth, but now has found the power of social media to be one of her greatest assets. Her Facebook page boasts over 1,100 likes and tons of enthusiastic reviews. There, she posts videos showcasing mouth-watering ensembles of shrimp and crab legs as well as when she’ll be open day-to-day.
Portions come in a small and large, perfect those who may want a taste or those who want to go all in with a gumbo platter. Customers are asked to call in their orders ahead of time so their takeout will be ready for them.
It takes approximately an hour and a half to get a good pot of gumbo and on average Greene makes enough to serve 40 large gumbo orders a week.
"I haven't even bought groceries for my home since at the end of April,” Greene said. “Every dollar that I really spend, it has to go towards my restaurant because it's something that I really want to do."
She’s basically a superwoman cook and entrepreneur — who also happens to still be going to school to study administrative medical assistantship. Greene also is looking to grow her team to include other cooks experienced in the kitchen and with customer service.
Eventually, she hopes to open her own space with a sitdown restaurant where she can actualize the aesthetic suited to a New Orleans Mardi Gras. In the meantime, she’s continuing to work to grow her business.
“It really made me feel some type of way when I walked into a Walmart or a Kroger and they’re like ‘Hey, are you Gumbo Trap girl?’” said Greene. “It just keeps me smiling everyday.”
For more information, check out the Gumbo Trap Facebook page
at or call (810) 546-4760.