For many, a family business is just business. For Maisie Wallace, however, it is a cherished piece of family history.
Her restaurant, Kountry Kubbard, has served the west Lincoln area for 23 years and has earned itself many loyal customers.
â€œI appreciate the public around here and everybody for supporting us for all these years,â€ Wallace said. â€œIf it wasnâ€™t for the people, we wouldnâ€™t be here.â€
It was Wallaceâ€™s mother, Dorothy Canipe, who first wanted to start the business. The rest of the family fell in line, all contributing in their own ways.
â€œMy dad built this building,â€ she said. â€œHe bought a trailer frame and built it up on that, and weâ€™ve been here ever since.â€
Over the years, Kountry Kubbard has earned a reputation for its hamburgers, hot dogs and spicy chicken sandwiches.
â€œOur biggest selling sandwich has always been the Big Rebel, since my mom opened up,â€ Wallace said of the double-patty burger named after West Lincoln High School.
It was no surprise her mother opened a restaurant. Canipe had always loved to cook and had worked in the food-service industry for years before fulfilling her dream.
A few years ago she passed away, but Canipe will always be remembered for helping around the grill. Not even physical ailments could stop her from sharing her opinion.
â€œMother would watch us make stuff, and sheâ€™d taste it and say, â€˜Now, girls, you need to add a little bit of this,â€™â€ Wallace said. â€œEven when she got to where she couldnâ€™t cook.â€
The loss of Canipe isnâ€™t the only thing that has changed Kountry Kubbard. Businesses have sprouted up throughout west Lincoln, including Mitchemâ€™s Kitchen located across the street.
Wallace said competition hasnâ€™t hurt the Kountry Kubbard.
â€œI think in a way it helped us,â€ she said. â€œWeâ€™re getting more and more new people.â€
Newcomers and regulars frequent the take-out grill, some are so regular that Wallace developed close friendships with them.
â€œSometimes when they donâ€™t come in, Iâ€™ll call and check on them because something might be wrong if theyâ€™re not coming in,â€ she said.
As far as future plans, Wallace has hopes the business will branch out.
â€œIâ€™d love to have a sit-down place,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s something we always dream about.â€
Since the death of her mother, Wallace has co-owned the business with her son, Scottie. Some of the original employees still work there.
She says there are lots of reasons people should give Kountry Kubbard a try.
â€œWeâ€™ve been here for 23 years, that should tell them why,â€ she said with a smile. â€œWe make good food here. We are good to the people. We always try to stand and talk to them when they come in.â€
by Maribeth Kiser