DINING OUT GUIDE: Florence?s Town & Country Cafe a family affair

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JULIE ANDERSON
With a homey atmosphere and a good cook and wait staff, Shippy?s Town

and Country Cafe on Highway 77 in Florence attracts patrons from

throughout the county and farther.



The cafe offers a wide selection of menu items.



?Anything you want, we will fix and have ready,? said Caroline

Spencer, owner.



Spencer offers specials during the week. On Tuesdays, Mexican food
is

featured, catfish is served on Fridays, and Saturday the cafe

specializes in prime rib.



?I think we?ve got the best cooks,? Spencer said.



Spencer said they make all of their salads and deserts at the
cafe.



The cafe also has sugar-free pies and other specialty items.



Their food was recognized during the Marion County Health Week
when

the cafe received a first-place certificate of achievement and was

awarded a plaque.



Having an inviting, home-style atmosphere is important to Spencer.



?I try my best to have the best waitresses and cooks,? Spencer
said.



She said she tells all of her staff to greet everyone with a smile

when they come in.



She said they get to know their customers and have a lot who just

stick their heads in to say good morning. They also get to hear
about

their lives.



?Our doors are open,? Spencer said. ?If you need anything, we will

talk about it.?



She described it as ?just kind of a family thing.?



Her husband and children help her with the cafe. A lot of
grandmothers

and their grandchildren work there, too.



?We get applications all of the time,? Spencer said.



She also tries to let school kids work during the summer to
provide

them with work experience.



?We all work together,? Spencer said.



The cafe serves people from a number of places.



?We get a lot of people from Peabody, Marion and Burns,? Spencer

said.They also have had people from El Dorado and Emporia, among
other

places, come to eat.



Labor Day and Memorial Day bring a number of people to the cafe.
And a

lot of people stop at the cafe on the way to or from a K-State
game.



?Our business is good,? Spencer said. ?I just thank the Good Lord
for

everything.?



A lot of birthday parties are held at the cafe, as well as
meetings.

Spencer is willing to open the cafe for meetings held at times
other

than normal business hours.



The cafe also has a drawing for the ?Birthday of the Month.: The

winner receives $7 to spend on a birthday dinner at the cafe.



Spencer has owned the cafe for a little more than four years. She
also

worked at the cafe when she was about 16 years old.



?It just seemed to be the right time (to buy it),? Spencer said.



The cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday and Monday; 6 a.m.
to 8

p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; and 6

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