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Family business dishes up favorites

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.
“I appreciate the public around here and everybody for supporting us for all these years,” Wallace said. “If it wasn’t for the people, we wouldn’t be here.”
It was Wallace’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.
“My dad built this building,” she said. “He bought a trailer frame and built it up on that, and we’ve been here ever since.”
Over the years, Kountry Kubbard has earned a reputation for its hamburgers, hot dogs and spicy chicken sandwiches.
“Our biggest selling sandwich has always been the Big Rebel, since my mom opened up,” 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.
“Mother would watch us make stuff, and she’d taste it and say, ‘Now, girls, you need to add a little bit of this,’” Wallace said. “Even when she got to where she couldn’t cook.”
The loss of Canipe isn’t the only thing that has changed Kountry Kubbard. Businesses have sprouted up throughout west Lincoln, including Mitchem’s Kitchen located across the street.
Wallace said competition hasn’t hurt the Kountry Kubbard.
“I think in a way it helped us,” she said. “We’re getting more and more new people.”
Newcomers and regulars frequent the take-out grill, some are so regular that Wallace developed close friendships with them.
“Sometimes when they don’t come in, I’ll call and check on them because something might be wrong if they’re not coming in,” she said.
As far as future plans, Wallace has hopes the business will branch out.
“I’d love to have a sit-down place,” she said. “It’s something we always dream about.”
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.
“We’ve been here for 23 years, that should tell them why,” she said with a smile. “We make good food here. We are good to the people. We always try to stand and talk to them when they come in.”
by Maribeth Kiser

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