Rural Missouri - June 2017 - 17
A cafe with a purpose much
greater than delicious food
by Heather Berry | email@example.com
icky Owens knows the village of Phillipsburg like the back of her hand.
Having mown most of the yards in town for $2 each as a teen, the
60-year-old knows the history of nearly everything in the area. She even
recalls a prediction she gave her sister one hot summer day years ago.
"I told her, 'I'm going to own this house one day' . . . and now, I do," says
Vicky, who turned the 1860s home into The Gourley Manor Bed and Breakfast.
Since the guest house be was virtually vacant during the day, Vicky had originally thought about adding a tearoom to draw more people to Phillipsburg. But
that meant more permits to add a commercial kitchen, so she tabled the idea.
In 2007, her high-school sweetheart and husband of 30 years, Lonnie, died
in an automobile accident, leaving Vicky to wonder how to go on without her
soulmate by her side. She whispered a prayer for God's guidance.
"I knew I still had purpose as a mom of six and grandmother of 15," adds the
Laclede Electric Cooperative member. "When you're going along living life and
something happens, that sense of purpose can get lost."
She looks at the faces staring back at her through the windowpanes hanging
along the cafe walls. "All of this really started from that simple prayer - 'I want
to do more, I want to give more . . . but how?'
"The very next day I heard the couple who owned this cottage next door
wanted to sell. So after more prayer, I bought it and totally remodeled the place,"
says Vicky, shaking her head at how quickly things fell into place.
So with a heart to help missions, Vicky bought the 1904 cottage and opened
The Cottage Cafe in June 2016.
With every purchase, a percentage of the proﬁt goes to help the mission
groups Vicky supports, which range from the local food bank, helping with
medical, dental and eye care efforts in Cambodia, feeding children in Haiti and
helping young boys and girls rescued from sex trafﬁcking around the world.
The missions are listed on the menu for patrons so they, too, know who they're
helping, and the walls show healthy, happy people who've beneﬁted from the
assistance - many of whom Vicky has met on her trips over the years.
Located less than a quarter-mile off historic Route 66, the location is a perfect stop for travelers and locals alike.
"The idea when we set the menu was 'Can you get it within 75 to 100 miles of
here?' If so, we're not serving it," says Vicky, who adds they may do a version of
something you've heard of before, but the secret's usually in how it's prepared.
Breakfast fans are going to feel right at home since you can order breakfast
all day. Pancake buffs will want to order the Cottage's signature German Chocolate Pancakes, a stack of mouthwatering pancakes lightly layered with German Chocolate frosting. Other decadent options include toasted Pecan Praline
Pancakes, topped with warm caramel praline syrup, or their recent addition of
Cottage Brown Butter Pancakes.
Love quiche? You can have a hearty slice for breakfast. Order the Sausage,
Apple and Cheese Quiche with its eggs, maple sausage, cheese and diced apples,
or the Spinach, Mushroom and Bacon Quiche with a savory combination of
spinach, fresh mushrooms, crisp bacon and eggs blended together.
Other breakfast options include the popular Gourley Cristo, a yummy combination of bacon, fresh tomatoes and cheese melted between hot wafﬂes with
fresh basil cream and served with a raspberry dipping sauce.
Lunch options are plentiful, too. While there are always daily specials, the
menu offers an assortment of hearty sandwiches, soups and fresh salads.
Sandwich favorites include the BBQ Chicken Ciabatta, a juicy chicken breast
with bacon, red onion, sharp cheddar cheese and a housemade barbecue sauce
served on a ciabatta roll. Another option is the Ultimate Grilled BLT: a twist on
the classic with spinach, chicken, bacon, tomato, pepper jack cheese, grilled on
cheesy garlic bread and served with Grandma Maudie's Special Dressing.
Hardly a day goes by without a Cottage Cristo going out of the kitchen. The
sandwich is a delicious blend of sweet maple ham and cheese grilled on wafﬂe
bread and served with raspberry preserves on the side. Sandwiches come with
soup, fresh fruit or chips - or you can upgrade sides to roasted potatoes, pasta
salad, cottage cheese or a small house salad.
Salad fans can enjoy two sizes of the Southwest Chicken Salad made with
grilled chicken on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce, red onion, black beans, grilled
corn, tomatoes and cheese, topped with tortilla strips and a kick of Southwest
BBQ Sauce. The Bacon and Spinach Salad may sound simple, but is a hearty
salad of fresh spinach, red onions, fresh mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, bacon
and boiled eggs and served with a special hot bacon dressing.
Ask people what to order and they'll say "pie." While apple pie is a standard,
Dark Chocolate Almond Crunch and Coconut Cream pies are most popular.
Vicky says the cafe has had visitors from Australia, Spain, France, Great
Britain, China and many states. She recalls a group of cyclists from Spain on
their way to Los Angeles from Chicago who stopped in for a meal.
"They barely spoke English, but would point at photos of the kids on the
wall and try to understand the story behind it all. And when they left, they left
a donation for the missions at their table," says Vicky. "Even though we didn't
speak the same language, they understood what we're trying to do here."
Vicky touches the face of a young child smiling broadly in a photo on the wall.
"It's all about meeting people at their needs," says the humble cafe owner.
"I always tell people that because they ate here today, someone else gets to eat
The Cottage Cafe
Specialties: Hearty sandwiches such
as the Cottage Cristo and the Ultimate
Grilled BLT. Breakfast is served all day and
includes Pecan Praline and Cottage Brown
Butter pancakes and The Gourley Cristo
breakfast sandwich. Homemade pies baked
fresh daily. Kid's menu available.
Price: Breakfast from $2.79 to
$7.99; lunch options from $4.99 to
$7.99; pie $4.50 per slice.
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Details: Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed
Sunday. Seats 40. Available for business meetings, club luncheons,
birthday parties, baby and bridal showers. Non smoking. No alcohol
served. Cash, credit and debit cards accepted. (Please keep in mind
the food is prepared fresh when ordered, so orders may take a little
longer to receive than fast-food establishments.)
Directions: Located at 201 W. Pine St. in Phillipsburg.
Contact: 417-589-0401 or follow The Cottage Cafe on Facebook;
Above: The Cottage Cafe in Phillipsburg offers daily specials, such as this Hot
Sliced Roast Beef Sandwich on hearty wheat bread with havarti cheese and a special
horseradish-mustard sauce. Below: The Bacon and Spinach Salad is a favorite of
many patrons, with its red onions, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, crumbled bacon,
boiled eggs and hot bacon dressing.
JUNE 2017 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP