Kelly Beck, the new Sames & Cook owner talks with enthusiasm about Hazel Mountain Chocolate from Burren in County Clare, Ireland. It’s just one of the additions they have made in the South Main Street, Mount Gilead restaurant that features light lunches and a variety of coffees.
The restaurant was crowded Friday with friends and well-wishers for the ribbon-cutting and opening sponsored by the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce.
Kelly was excited to talk about the special chocolate and other changes at their business. She said that she and her husband, Matt were in Ireland last year and enjoyed the chocolate and coffee shop at Hazel Mountain Chocolate. When they took over ownership of Sames & Cook they thought of that special chocolate and now are able to offer it in their own restaurant. The owners of Hazel Mountain Chocolates said Sames & Cook is the first business in the USA to offer the chocolate.
The chocolate is made in small batches in the Hazel Mountain Chocolate Factory that is in the remote Burren Mountains in Ireland. It’s made using rare Trinitario cacao beans and raw cane sugar for the dark chocolate. They use Irish milk from grass fed cows in their milk chocolate. Chocolate makers hand roast, crack and winnow the beans before stone grinding for 40 hours. Then the beans are aged for three weeks.
The Becks have added some other new things at Sames & Cook such as healthy protein-shakes. They also have a place to create your own coffee blend for roasting. They have also added a line of hand-written boards and cups by Mary Franz. Many of the customer favorites are still on the menu – such as BBQ pork sandwiches, quiche, soups and salads. They still serve breakfast all day.
Kelly said she is really enjoying the experience of owning and managing Sames & Cook. There is a wide variety of clientele from those who are working on laptops to an older crowd who come in for coffee and dessert. The atmosphere is very laid back, but they also work very hard on having prompt and good service.
Sharon Collins, a 1958 Mount Gilead High School grad, happened to be at Sames & Cook for the ribbon cutting with her daughter, Jenny Hughes. They came over from Marion and Collins said they often enjoy coming for lunch. Collins is glad to see they’re keeping many things the same and making some improvements as well.
Morrow County Chamber Director, Cathy Francis commented that a nice change is the comfortable sofa and chairs at the front of the restaurant. They’re a great place to enjoy coffee, visit with friends or read the newspaper.
“It’s great to promote Morrow County and be a part of this,” said Kelly. “I really like interacting with the different generations here. I love Morrow County,” added Kelly whose “Hartpence” roots go way back in the county.
Sames & Cook is at 33 S. Main St. in Mount Gilead – Mon. – Fri. 6 am – 4pm Sat. 8 am – 2 pm.