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‘There is no place like home’

Local café and quick stop treats customers like family

Dixie Café and Quick Stop in Keene is known for its consistent food, prices and cleanliness.

Customers frequently purchase their one-of-a-kind hamburgers, chili and breakfast, although
business owners Lynn Alexander and Kasi Sato constantly switch up the menu to offer customers variety.

“My mother was named Dixie,” Alexander said. “She had a Dixie Café in Border, Texas in the 1950s, and we lived in a small oil field community called Phillips about a mile from the border. We had one grocery store and it was a Quick Stop Grocery so thus the name of this. We did a bunch of home recipes and came in here and opened it up about six years ago.”

Recently placing in the top three for Best Hometown Restaurant by Kentucky Living Magazine, the Quick Stop Grocery is open 7 a.m. to 5:30-6 p.m., with the Dixie Café open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week. Located at 108 Keene-South Elkhorn Road, the business also caters to the local Irish community by offering one-of-a-kind Irish groceries.

“We try to change it up and we are always trying to add something annually,” Alexander said. “We tried pizza but that did not go over too well. We added Katie’s Corner out of West Virginia this Christmas which features homemade hand-churned ice cream and that has gone over very well.”

Still operating with the first cook the café ever had, Kelly and Anita Johnson, the store has become almost like a family team featuring husband, wife, son and daughter behind the counter.

“They are very personal,” Sato said. “Everybody loves them. He knows everybody’s name when they walk in the door and he knows their order. Everywhere we talk to anybody they say, ‘I just love Kelly and Anita.’ They have been a blessing for us because they have just done a great job.”

Recently paving and resurfacing a new parking lot, the Dixie Café and Quick Stop Grocery is seeing more business than ever before, Alexander said. Being able to offer both residents and those passing through a post office in addition to the store and café, the business owners agree both assets have helped bring people in who then stay and choose to purchase something to eat.

“Anita’s muffins are a huge hit and she creates new ones all the time,” Sato said. “I will be at work and someone will ask, ‘have you had Anita’s maple bacon muffin?’ I am like ‘no,’ and they say, ‘you got to get it!’ It is really cool how many people come out here and how many people know about it that you don’t even realize.”

With muffin choices including maple bacon, Oreo, pina colada and blueberry, the business also offers lotions made from goats’ milk, jewelry, local honey, local beer cheese,  cutting boards and woodworking from a local resident.

“We try to make it as cozy as we can,” Alexander said. “It is a good place. It is a fun place. I don’t think we have ever had anyone come in here that did not tell us this is the cleanest place they have ever been and that is really important to us.”

For more information visit http://www.thedixiecafeandquickstop.com