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Tammy's serving up Homemade Goodness

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tammy Hare, right, is soon going to be the proud proprietor of Tammy's which is going in the Spice Rack building located on West Main in downtown Cherokee. She expects to open her doors around mid-January. Supporting and helping her in this endeavor is her mom, Alice Hare, left. Photo by Nancy Nelson
Growing up, Tammy Hare always had the goal of being a restaurant owner. When people would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer was always the same, a restaurant owner. Hare's goal is about to become a reality, as she takes possession of the Spice Rack building on West Main in Cherokee this month. 'Tammy's', as she is going to call the restaurant, is scheduled to open around mid-January.

Hare began cooking with her grandmother at the young age of five, and credits her for teaching her most of what she knows about cooking. She gives the rest of the credit to her mom, Alice Hare, and her active participation in 4-H. Hare is no stranger to the restaurant business since she began working in the industry at the age of 14 working at Sheila's Short Stop in Ida Grove for eleven years before she and her family moved to Cherokee. She worked at Kmart for about five years thinking she didn't miss the restaurant business but ultimately decided she did miss it. An opportunity to run the kitchen service at the Cherokee Country Store presented itself and Hare has been there for a number of years now creating a strong following with her homemade daily special preparations.

Hare loves to cook more than anything and in the back of her mind her goal of restaurant ownership was still there. Timing and fate have a funny way of showing up at the right time and Hare began looking for a location for her business. The Spice Rack building had never crossed her mind until her realtor asked her if she had thought about looking at it. She looked at it once on her own and fell in love with it, then returned with her mom to look at it a second time and then made the decision to make an offer.

Hare plans to offer restaurant hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with breakfast, lunch and dinner hours. The breakfast menu will be small and simple and include pastries. The lunch and dinner hours will consist of a soup and salad bar, daily specials along with a regular menu. Everything on the table will be homemade from scratch even the burger buns, soups and salads.

Patrons can expect taverns, pulled pork, burgers, and fries on the regular menu. Add to that egg, tuna, chicken, and ham salad sandwiches and a person will have many delectable choices. Hare also plans to have baked goods available for purchase. For example, cupcakes are going to be a specialty along with seasonal baked good trays, and whole pies. Hare plans on reasonable menu prices and doing most, if not all, of her grocery shopping locally.

Breakfast hours begin at 8 a.m. and the coffee will be hot and fresh. Lunch hours will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner or supper, depending on your view, will go from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The former Spice Rack building is going to be a fantastic space, according to Hare. The Klee's have included the current inventory and equipment in the sale of building so there will be some cooking and baking items to purchase until the inventory runs out. Hare wants to mainly focus on the business of feeding people in a good old fashioned down home style. Eventually she is going to convert the current recording studio into a party room that can be rented and/or catered by Tammy's.

Hare credits her family with much of the support she has been given. Her mom, Alice, will be helping her out during the supper hours after she completes her business hours at First Edition, a hair salon that she owns and operates on East Main in Cherokee. Since her grandparents are also a major supporting factor Hare will be installing a booth in one of the front windows of the building that came from an old restaurant in Danbury where they are from originally. Her grandparents gave her the booth which was in their basement, she remembers playing on it with her siblings when they visited and thought it was the "coolest thing ever". As an added result of her grandmother starting her on the path to cooking, that space will be in dedication to Hare's grandparents. She says she owes a lot to her family for their support in this endeavor.

With Hare's cheerful attitude and great cooking skill 'Tammy's' is sure to be a wonderful and innovative addition to the restaurant scene of Cherokee.

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