COLLINS, MS (WDAM) - In the heart of Downtown Square at Main Street Café, there’s a story behind the buffet that fills the building with the smells of freshly fried chicken.
If you ask Christine Stewart, everything is just right on the corner of Main and Beech Street in downtown Collins.
At 73-years-old, Christine is in charge of cutting out the dumplings by hand. She’s done it since she and her late husband first opened the doors at Main Street Café, a place where anyone who walks in becomes another ingredient in the restaurant’s recipe for family.
“We like to know every milestone in their lives,when they’re sick, when they’re getting married, who their grandchildren are and what they’re doing in their lives,” said co-owner Shasta Sanford, who is Stewart’s daughter.
The business has grown from its humble beginnings, and now, the family gives back, delivering meals to the loyal customers who can no longer make it in for lunch.
“We felt obligated to give back so that is what we did,” Stewart said.
The story behind Main Street Café goes beyond a buffet, endless sweet tea and full stomachs. It’s a legacy, where southern cooking meets a lifetime of love and giving back.
“My mother was disabled in a wheelchair for about 15 years,” said Stewart. “She always had to have dumplings, so on holidays I was the dumpling girl.”
Stewart’s daughter now owns the place and says when mom comes in, it’s all hands on deck with a lot of behind the scenes work and not just on the food menu.
“It’s a big operation,” Sanford said. “She has to come in and prep. There’s a lot of talking while that’s going on. A lot of advice, counseling that we get.”
From the cornbread to the gravy, Sanford said the years of flavor and smiles help keep customers coming back, grabbing a fork and filling up.
“We are like family, so it has been a real blessing to us,” Sanford said.