Thanks once again to Stan Schwartz for an amazing write up in the Bowling Green Times Newspaper this week!
Outdoor dining will soon be available
BOWLING GREEN—Craig Burnett has always had a strong vision of what downtown Bowling Green could be. He’s mentioned on numerous occasions of how his parents would talk about what the town square was like years ago—bright, full of people and thriving businesses.
When he and his wife, Mandy, decided to open their own business just off the square, that was just the first step for them to bring that vision of a bright, city center back to Bowling Green. The business they first envisioned was a retail shop that sold household decorative items and furniture, along with a luncheonette. But the food side of the business quickly took off. People arriving to dine in soon found that seating was at a premium. Months later, Craig and Mandy purchased the building next door and began their expansion.
Because of the pandemic, their carry-out business bloomed. But the expansion, with Craig doing most of the work himself, the couple was able to add a second dining area, so when the social distancing restrictions started to lift, the business had more space for customers sit and stay separated.
Craig and Mandy may own the business, but it is not their only job. Mandy also runs an in-home child care business.
What they needed was someone who could handle a lot of the day-to-day operations of the luncheonette. And that’s where Cindy Elliott comes in. They brought her on in January, and announced this month that her new position at Forever Primitives is manager.
Cindy has an extensive background in the food service industry. She worked nine years as a manager at Dairy Queen, five years at Hardee’s and at the Bowling Green Diner for 7½ years. In between some of those food jobs, Cindy held other positions. She worked for People’s Bank and Trust for more than four years.
“And I’ve known Craig and Mandy for forever,” she said. When Cindy was at Hardee’s as the assistant manager, Mandy was the manager. “And she baby-sat my grand kids.”
Cindy said they had asked before about coming to work at Forever Primitives. She realized she was putting in a lot of hours at her last job and wanted to slow down just a little, so she agreed to join the family at the luncheonette.
“Life was passing me by,” she said. “I have grand kids, and I missed my life.”
Cindy is amazed by the work Craig has put in doing the expansion into the next building. He’s also working on expanding again, taking on the space next to the new dining area. Craig also has a vision of incorporating outdoor dining. Just last week, new concrete was being poured and readied for a patio just outside the new dining area.
It’s not quite ready yet, Craig said, but with the concrete down, they’re one step closer to having their outdoor dining area facing W. Church St.
“We’re hoping to bring in new business with the patio addition,” Cindy said. “We’re thinking about maybe doing some happy hours, too.”
Cindy noted that she’s lived in Bowling Green almost her entire life. In all the various jobs she’s had over the years, Cindy said, it was the food industry ones that she liked the most.
“They’re really friendly here, and it’s all kind of like a big family,” she said.
The business is closed Sundays and Mondays.
“I like having Sunday’s off,” she said, “because it gets me back into church.” And she gets to see her family more. “Family is important,” she added.
Her folks lived in Bowling Green almost their entire lives, she said. They had a greenhouse and her dad worked on tractors most of his life.
Watching them, she said, taught her responsibility and gave her the work ethic she needed to land and keep a job.