Something cookin’ at Maw’s

Published 10:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chelli Mannon, pictured with her son Trey Stambough, outside Chelli’s new restaurant Maw Mannon’s Country Kitchen located at 9160 State Route 378 (roughly one mile from Symmes Valley High School) in Symmes Township.

Onetime teacher becomes restaurateur

AID — Welcome to Maw’s!

Chelli “Maw” Mannon, owner of the newly opened country restaurant, Maw Mannon’s, was raised by two educators who happened to know their way around a kitchen.

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So, it’s only natural that she would move on to teach young children for 13 years (in the Dawson-Bryant school district) and then abruptly alter her career path to serve delicious entrees.

With cooking in her genes, and a dream in her heart, that’s exactly what the 1987 Ironton High School grad and present Willow Wood resident has done.

Mannon, formerly Chelli Bruce, is following a similar path blazed by her mother, Mary Jo Frazer, by exchanging her textbooks and lesson plans for recipes and measuring cups.

Frazer left teaching in 1984 and became co-owner of Anderson’s Pizza Pub (in the location now inhabited by End Zone) when her daughter was a teenager, passing on a passion for entrepreneurship to her youngest child.

“My love of country cooking is a result of many hours spent in the kitchen with my grandmother, Gretchen Bruce, and my dad, Bill Bruce,” Mannon said. “My mom has a lot of experience in the restaurant business and my step father, Charlie Frazer, is an amazing cook. They mentor me and give me tips to help me become successful.”

Maw Mannon’s, located at 9160 State Route 378 (about a mile from Symmes Valley High School and a tee-shot from the Symmes Valley baseball fields) opened on May 9, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to hungry locals.

Maw’s offers a wide selection of sandwiches and meals, including daily “country cooking” specials, with many of the recipes handed down from her father-in-law, Earl Mannon, compliments to the legacy of his beloved late wife, Louise.

The country restaurant also serves as a convenience store, offering basic household and automotive needs to area residents.

Four gas pumps presently sit unattended on Maw’s parking lot, but should be flowing with gasoline and diesel fuel within the next few weeks once state-mandated testing has been performed.

“Maw” is the wife of Darren Mannon, who recently started his own business, a gas pipeline construction company, Mannon Pipeline Services, in the The Point industrial park in South Point.

“We’re taking our chances to live our dreams,” she said. “What is life without a dream?”

To order your country cooking to go or check on the daily specials, call Maw’s at (740) 643-9800.