Regardless of your age, you most likely have very fond memories of days gone by when your family gathered around the dinner table to enjoy home cooked meals prepared by your mother.
There’s just something very special about a home cooked meal that transcends cultures and ethnicities from any region across the nation. It’s no wonder restaurants serving meat and vegetables have always been a popular place to take the family for a nourishing meal. Restaurant owners use words like Home Cooking, Country Cookin’ and Soul Food to connect with that special place in the minds and hearts of customers who walk into their establishment seeking a variety of meats, vegetables, deserts and sweet tea.
Sarah’s, on Eagles Landing Parkway in Stockbridge, has successfully developed just the right ingredients and warm hospitality to make it one of the very best restaurants where individuals, families and friends can gather for a genuine home cooked meal.
It was February 26th 2011 when sisters Kary Kelley, Janice Taylor and Carolyn Brown opened the doors to their diner and started serving meals to crowds of people who seemed to appear from nowhere. Loyal customers have returned over and over through the years for second and third helpings of delicious foods.
The vision of the sisters was simple: provide a great home style meal, reasonably priced and served with a generous helping of good old Southern hospitality. “Our parents were local Henry County residents who raised 12 children, so mealtime was always a big event,” the sisters recalled. Like so many large families, mealtime is a very important time and requires a lot of preparation and can be very time consuming. The sisters found themselves in the kitchen helping their mother do whatever she needed for them to do. “Mother was a very good cook and we learned a great deal from her in just how to prepare great tasting food and the art of fixing it in large quantities,” recalls Kary.
With this type of upbringing, you would think opening a restaurant would have been a natural thing for them to pursue as a career from the onset of their working years. But that would not be the case. They found themselves working in the private sector where they each worked full and rewarding careers until they retired. It was then they started searching for something else to do together, instead of sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch.
One Sunday after church, they were having lunch at a local restaurant and the idea came to them to go back in time and pull from their experiences with their mother and open a restaurant together. It was a defining moment that launched them in the direction of opening Sarah’s in honor of their Mother.
“Our children actually came up with the idea to name the restaurant Sarah’s,” the sisters acknowledged. Making the decision to open a restaurant seemed to be a natural thing to do together, since they had been preparing meals for as long as they could remember. But they soon would find their venture to be much more than just preparing and cooking food. They would be faced with learning the behind the scenes operations of building and running a business from the administrative side, which was something they had never experienced. Things like finding a good location, the right amount of building space, purchasing equipment, making connections with food suppliers, making payroll, securing a business license and meeting all the health standards associated with operating a restaurant. As they talked with me, they recalled all of the challenges, but they agreed nothing they encountered made them lose their desire to follow their dream.
Sarah’s is open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, for lunch only. The food is prepared fresh daily. And don’t be surprised if you have to stand in line; but it doesn’t take long to get to the smiling faces behind the counter and begin making your selections of food, desert and drink.
Making a selection is not always easy because everything looks so tasty. From the meat counter you will see: fried chicken, fried pork chops, baked fish and baked chicken, meat loaf, chicken livers and more. Turn the corner and you’ll see a continuation of food selections like: macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, green beans, black eyed peas, lima beans – plus several other vegetables, casseroles and home made deserts.
“We try our best to always have a good variety of food for our customers to choose from,” the sisters said. It is evident, the sisters take pride in making sure their customers are treated just like family and are made to feel right at home. Even the customers that come in for take out orders are given the same special attention. Many times local business owners, such as doctors offices, will call in orders for their staff, and the sisters make sure these orders are personally delivered. Advance notice is recommended and preferred for these type orders, but the sisters always try to accommodate their customers in or outside the restaurant.
Sarah’s invites you to stop by for lunch. They are located at 1060 Eagles Landing Parkway, Suite 210, in Stockbridge (just behind Starbucks). If you are planning an event and would like Sarah’s to cater it for you, they will be happy to accommodate you and set up a delicious meal just like you would get at their restaurant. If you like home cooking, you want be disappointed choosing Sarah’s as your place to eat.
By Terry McAfee