Sisterly venture

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It's a family affair at a new eatery in the Camellia City.

Emily's Caf\u00E9 and Gourmet Coffee, located in the former Just Julie's building on the Pineapple Highway, is locally co-owned by three sisters: Ann Edwards, Rosemary Smith and Linda Morrison.

Earlier this week, the three siblings were busy visiting with suppliers, completing paperwork and generally gearing up for their opening.

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Emily's will offer lunchtime service tomorrow, Feb.1 and Friday, Feb. 2.

The caf\u00E9's grand opening is slated for Saturday night, February 3, the birthday of their late mother, Emily Mosley, who passed away six years ago. Emily is the &#8220sweet, Christian” woman for whom the restaurant is named and a primary inspiration for the business.

The venture is a long-held dream come true for the sisters, Edwards said.

&#8220For years we have talked about doing something like this, but it never seemed like the right time before.”

Their mother, Emily, cooked three meals a day for her brood of ten children, the sisters recall, and prepared delicious homemade snacks, too.

&#8220We have so many good memories of being in the kitchen with Mom, fixing holiday meals and Sunday dinners. She used to say we should open a restaurant and do our own cooking and baking,” Edwards recalled.

Soon enough, the girls had families of their own to raise. The dream of the Mosley sisters remained just that, a dream - until now.

When Julie Autrey, a longtime family friend and owner of the business previously occupying the space, expressed an interest in selling the restaurant, the sisters agreed the time seemed right. They had worked with Julie on several occasions &#8220and really enjoyed it,” Edwards said.

&#8220So far, everything seems to be falling right into place, including having our grand opening on Mama's birthday,” Smith said.

Emily's will be open daily Monday through Friday for lunch, served from 10:30 a.m. ‘til 2 p.m.

Friday and Saturday nights, the caf\u00E9 will open for supper from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and re-open for lunch on Sundays.

(Emily's will not be open this Friday night.)

The sisters plan to offer a mix of old and new on the menu. They plan to retain some of Just Julie's sandwiches and specialty coffees and drinks, including the ever-popular Tay's Frozen Hot Chocolate, and bring in some of their own dishes, many inspired by their late mother.

&#8220We will also offer a daily lunch special to our customers,” Edwards said.

Smith said the caf\u00E9 also plans to expand the children's menu, offering an array of affordable choices, including hot dogs and Polish dogs to customers.

Emily's will offer carryout casseroles and &#8220meals to go,” a service Edwards said they are &#8220very excited” about.

&#8220We will offer a complete meal - meat, two veggies, and bread - which will only need to be heated and served. We just ask people give us four hours' notice and we will have it ready to pick up when they come in.”

Homemade pies and cakes to take home will also be offered, Edwards said.

The sisters say they are not concerned about sibling rivalry in their new undertaking.

&#8220We have all worked together before. We worked together at Greenville Academy; we worked together at Preister's in Fort Deposit. We've just always gotten along fine,” Smith said.

And coming from a big family means they will have &#8220lots of help” at Emily's.

&#8220Our family members are as excited as we are about this business,” Edwards laughed.

And don't be surprised to see a familiar face behind the counter from time to time.

&#8220Julie told us any time we needed her, she'd be glad to come and help. She's also planning to eat with us the first Friday night we are open,” Edwards said.

The three sisters also suspect another friendly face will be looking on as they bring their family's dream come to life.

&#8220I feel like Mom is going to be smiling down on us, I really do,” Edwards said.