LITTLE MOUNTAIN — Once people enter the Little Mountain Antique Mall, the smell of homemade soups, sandwiches and quiche wafts through the air inviting people to the cafe for a quick bite to eat.
Karen Quinn owns the antique mall located in the heart of Little Mountain and decided that the town needed a cafe for people to enjoy lunch or a snack.
The Antique Mall Cafe has been opened since Oct. 27 but Quinn bought over the antique mall in 2007 and reopened in it in 2008.
Everything is homemade in the cafe located downstairs in the mall which is accessible through the mall or by entering around the back entrance.
“There are two reasons I wanted to do this. A lot of people come off the interstate and a lot of people traveling had two questions: ‘Where’s the restroom?’ and ‘Where can we eat?,’” said Quinn, “There’s no other place during the week in Little Mountain to eat.”
Quinn would have to send them out of the county towards Chapin or out of the town limits to another area in county.
Now people may come by between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and enjoy a cafe style meal or dessert, which she also makes.
Quinn does have help from a couple of ladies - Linda Thompson and Shar Perry - who help Quinn out as necessary.
Quinn knew Thompson from they both worked at the Mid-Carolina Country Club and says that Thompson has great culinary experience.
So far, Quinn says that “traffic has been good. I’m trying to attract more locals but the local support has been great and I seem to have a pretty good following.”
For instance, Quinn mentions that the Mayor Buddy Johnson and his wife like to stop in for some quiche.
Another group of ladies like to stop in regularly for a quick meal or dessert.
While people enjoy their meal, they are also surrounded by items from the antique mall which allows them the option to buy the decor in the cafe. Music is another feature that Quinn wants to have more of.
Off to the side of the cafe, there’s a space for a band or musical artist to play some acoustic, coffee shop style music, Quinn explains.
“I have had music on Saturdays,” says Quinn, “A couple of dealers who play acoustic have played. I would like to get some more acts in.”
Quinn wants the atmosphere to be “relaxed, fun and inviting.”
In the future, she would like to add an outdoor patio area because she says the back is so beautiful and thinks it would be nice to enjoy a meal outside when it’s nice.
Another feature that Quinn is looking forward to having is a drive-thru coffee shop which she hopes to have opened in January.
The coffee shop building can be seen from the front and people would be able to get coffees or cappuccinos and perhaps some simple muffins or breakfast sandwiches. The coffee shop would be opened earlier probably around 7 a.m. and then close in time for the cafe to open.
Quinn’s goal is to have a niche for the locals and for anyone traveling through. Her cafe and antique mall is less than 10 miles from the interstate exit for the Little Mountain/Pomaria exit.
While there is not a website for the cafe part of the mall, people may visit the Facebook page for the Antique Mall Cafe.