Taking Care of Business: Small town, big support

Southern Kafe credits a small town for big success during pandemic
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 3:45 PM EDT
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GUYTON, Ga. (WTOC) - The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to prove size doesn’t matter, as businesses big and small were impacted.

But one Guyton restaurant owner doesn’t think that’s the case. In fact, she believes her restaurant only survived because of the size of her town, but perhaps not in the way you’d think.

“Guyton is a small town. If you have no reason to stop in Guyton, they don’t,” said Tamela Mydell.

For Mydell, the co-owner of Guyton’s Southern Kafe, the pandemic brought with it some very real concerns.

“Sometimes your worst fear is nobody is going to come by today,” she said.

But day after day, the customers continued to come.

“When you hear that door opening at 6:00 a.m. you’re like, ‘Thank God, it’s another blessed day,’” said Mydell.

Now that’s not to say there weren’t challenges.

“It has been some days, day by day, week by week,” Mydell recalls.

So, how did they do it?

Of course, good food goes a long way, but if you ask Mydell it’s not about what they sell, but who they sell it to.

“We’re local, everybody knows everybody, and I can truly say that the people in Effingham and Guyton have shopped local. We really do appreciate that because it has kept our doors open and employees staffed,” she said.

Even now as they deal with staff shortages and the increasing cost of food, she finds confidence knowing that door will continue to open, because it seems this small town has something you might not find in a big city.

“Effingham is a real family,” says Mydell.

And family is always there for you.

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