A True Sister Act

Published 11:22 am Monday, January 5, 2009

It’s definitely a sister act and one that is focused as much on helping the community they call home as creating a successful business.

Back in October Julia Jones and Suzy Bryant opened up Suzy Q’s Café in the City Center in downtown Ironton.

“My sister and I had been looking for a business we wanted to get into that would benefit the city,” said Jones, who is also a sheriff’s deputy.

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Being in the public eye, Jones said, allows the pair to be aware of the needs of others.

“We can help people,” she said.

One of their most recent efforts was a Christmas dinner and toy giveaway in December the two women sponsored in conjunction with a toy drive by the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department.

There 92 children whose names were supplied by schools in Coal Grove, Rock Hill and Ironton received toys, plus dinner for them and their families. A total of 253 received dinner that Saturday at an event the sisters hope becomes an annual affair.

“Being a deputy for the past 20 years that is what I want to do,” Jones said. “There are so many people out there. We can touch their lives, get them to strive for something better.”

The café is not the first time the sisters have teamed up in a business venture. In the late 1980s and 1990s they had in Ironton a children’s clothing shop called Children’s Priority, which they had for five years.

But as their children grew up, the pair found their lives were taking them away from the business world.

Now Jones and Bryant have come up with their family-style restaurant evocative of the dinners they remember from home.

“Our moms cooked all of our meals and we would sit down (for dinner),” Jones said. “In the two months that we opened, the people who come in and eat with us are like family. I think they want a little more home-cooking, a little more personality in the food. It is not about rushing about.”

Among the unique items on the café’s menu is a Juliaburger, a hamburger on a gourmet pretzel bun, the Suzy Q hot dog, a deep fried hot dog, and funnel fries that look like French fries but are made out of funnel cake batter covered in powdered sugar with chocolate dipping sauce.

The café is opened from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and will take call ahead orders and offers some delivery service.