Editor’s Note: A few days ago, Josephine’s Cafe announced it would close on June 7, 2019. The restaurant on the corner of Main Street and First has always been there. It’s been our hometown cafe. But after seven years of keeping the doors open daily for breakfast, lunch and catfish on Friday nights, the Pidcock family’s time to have the cafe will come to an end, for now. We asked owner Scherrie Pidcock to share a few thoughts … (thank you Scherrie) …
“Back in February 2012 the husband, daughters and I got the idea to go take a look at the local café. It had been closed for several months. I didn’t like the idea of it being closed because it had been around for so many years. After all, it was sort of an Icon. The girls and I schemed and dreamed of buying it. They had lots of food service experience.
I looked over the books. They didn’t look too great, but hey, we could make it work. We’re smart people.
My Grandma Jo (Josephine) was recovering from a major spinal fusion surgery and had to retire at 89 years young from the bank. She was still sharp and was bored at home. She could visit with customers and run the register. Getting out of the house would help her stay active. We could name it after her and cheer her up because she did not want to have to retire.
We could serve her deviled eggs with every meal. We could have super fresh veggies in season from our farm! Quite a few people had made a run at success with it. Surely some of them had been successful. Surely we could…..so we signed on the dotted line and owned “the café”.
Then, 10 days after we signed the papers, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our world was rocked. We persevered. Then a few months later, my grandson was diagnosed with leukemia. Our world nearly crumbled. We persevered. Many more extreme obstacles came after that.
The decision to close was extremely difficult and painful. It feels like a loss, almost like losing a friend, like grief. I had been contemplating it for a very long time, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it because I felt almost like it was my responsibility to keep “the café” open. It just seemed to me like a necessary place to have in town and I hoped and hoped it would eventually be that place…the one that supported my family while we worked to provide a good meal in Luther. It just never became that place. We couldn’t make it happen. We tried. We failed. No regrets about trying.
We have made countless friendships over the years. That’s another thing that has made this so tough. When and where will I see these folks that I’ve come to know and gotten used to seeing so often, some of them EVERY day. This part makes me very sad.
I asked a regular at the smart table today if they had a plan, where they would meet and have coffee. He solemnly said that they did not.
I haven’t decided anything about the building. I’d love to try to think of another business to open. I may put it on the market. I’m just waiting for the dust to settle so I can make good decisions.
There are so many people who have supported us continually through all of our trials we’ve had since opening. People I love with all my heart. People who became more than friends to us. They are still being supportive of us now, lifting us up with encouragement.”
Josephine’s will be open through Friday. Go order a burger, a chicken fry or some biscuits and gravy one more time.