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Nana’s Kitchen, at crook of Rosston Road, holds ribbon-cutting

Nana’s Kitchen will be run by Erica Davlin (center, holding the scissors) and her husband Michael, (standing behind her in the dark shirt).

The little store located where Shover merges into Rosston Road had a Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting today and has a new name and a scrumptious set of menu items. Now called Nana’s Kitchen, the store will offer candies, snacks, soft-drinks, sandwiches and hot lunch plates under its new owners Michael and Erica Davlin.

Nana was what Erica and her cousins called their grandmother. “Most of my recipes come from her, and I learned to cook watching her, so it seemed fitting,” Erica said.

Michael, who grew up in Hope, along with his wife Erica, who originates from Lufkin, Texas, are now serving a variety of breakfast and lunch items from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The two-page menu is divided among several categories, including “Burgers and Such,” “Salads,” “Plate Dinners,” “Baskets,” “Deli” “Breakfasts,” and “Add On.”

Erica said Nana’s Kitchen would have daily specials. In deciding what to include on their menu, the Davlins were influenced by what Karma Korner used to serve, but also by past restaurants where the two used to work. Erica added that the meat served for Chicken Fried Steaks is actual branded steak and is never frozen.

The store building itself has a long history and the Davlins have not tampered with its basic look. Children of the 1970s can easily still picture what the place looked like when it was Mr. Green’s Grocery. The counter is in the same place, the floor is still of cement, the ceiling is still of tin and the big window still overlooks the roadway. Michael said he remembers childhood trips to the store back when it was Jerry’s One Stop.

The Davlins got the idea to re-open and run the store when the opportunity to do so was mentioned by a friend of theirs. “We just kind of jumped,” Erica said. “We both wanted to own our own restaurant.”

They credit the previous owner, Kris England, who ran the store when it was Karma Korner, for allowing them to finance the cost of the business. “The owner before financed him, and he wanted to do the same thing for the next guy,” Michael said.

The upshot of their deal for customers is the menu and the quality of food being offered. The Davlins get their beef for burgers, steak fingers and chicken fried steak from the locally-owned JACO Meats. Their mashed potatoes never come from a mix, but are made from potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed in Nan’s Kitchen. Their onion rings are hand-battered, never frozen.

As for the future, Michael said some improvements would be made to the store’s façade, gas pumps will be removed, and the walls will be painted soon. As summer ends and those stopping for snacks before and after school return, the Davlins may revise their hours. But from the looks of things, the nostalgia trip for long-time Hope residents visiting Nana’s Kitchen will be well-preserved.

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