The Matt and Rhonda Howard family has always been a close-knit, caring family. Whatever the kids – Madison, Maisie and, Brady – have been interested in, the parents have encouraged and supported them, while still giving them the freedom to think and do for themselves.
The Howard Family has been, and still are, familiar faces and helping hands at the Fayette County Fairgrounds, especially involved with prize-winning animals, but also in other areas of competition, such as cooking.
Madison Howard is finding those experiences coming in very handy now, as she seems to be the chief cook in the kitchen of The Home Place Market & Restaurant in Brownstown, the family’s latest venture and a family affair.
The very name, The Home Place, brings to mind an old family home where generations of children played together and grew up, so it seems to be a fitting name for the Howards’ “together” venture..
Last Monday, Maisie Howard was working and cleaning The Home Place during closing hours.
This Tuesday, her sister, Madison Howard, was found in The Home Place kitchen, cooking enchiladas for the day’s special – hairnet, apron, gloves and all – smiling and looking like she would rather be cooking up enchiladas than doing anything else.
“I’m using grandma’s (Mary Howard) enchilada recipe,” she said rather proudly.
But the main reason for the family business seems to be that they felt that there should be a good meat market in Brownstown, and they are now providing it, along with the restaurant and the opportunity to eat the meat already prepared.
When It Began
The Howard family got the building in January and completely redecorated it, putting in lots of hard work just getting ready.
The structure was built for the local labor union, for the business meetings and union-related functions, such as company dinners.
Located at 365 W. Cumberland Road, on the north side of U.S. Route 40, it most recently housed The Hitchin’ Post Restaurant.
How It Began
Madison said she was not really sure why the family decided to do this, but they thought there should be a place in Brownstown where you could buy fresh and frozen meat.
“I really wanted a coffee shop,” she said. “The restaurant is really more than I bargained for, but it is working out all right.”
Madison is no stranger to the kitchen stove.
“I began cooking when I was 10 years old and in 4-H,” she said. “I’ve been cooking ever since. I always did the 4-H chili and stuff.”
Madison said the family opened the doors for customers around the first week of June. “Brady does the dishes, Dad cooks on Saturdays, I cook and Maisie waitresses, and Mom does the bookwork and paperwork,” she said.
Other members of their family who help are Donell Sefton, who cooks, and Morgan Walk Logue, who “preps and waitresses,” Madison said. Rae Lynn Koehler also cooks.
Also giving them a hand when needed are Maria Stephens, Rhonda Howard and Sierra Stephens.
The Home Place Meat Market
“It’s fully operating now,” Madison said. “We have everything.”
The meat truck comes on Wednesday, so we have fresh meat until Saturday, then we freeze it. Then, we have fresh meat again on Wednesday. If you want something we don’t have, we can order it, and it will be here on Wednesday. If you want to order meet, call and let us know by 3 p.m. on Monday.
Another customer pleaser is, “If you want something, like a steak. thawed out, call us and we can have it thawed it out for you, to eat here at the restaurant or to take home and cook it.”
To place an order for meat when the market is closed, call 367-3466. When restaurant is open, you can call 367-2435.
Madison, the Cook
Tuesday’s special was the enchilada and brown rice. A peek at the menu hanging in the kitchen showed that Wednesday’s special would be goulash, breadsticks, and salad. A subtle shifting of the list revealed that Friday’s special – which is usually fish, chips, and a drink – would vary this week, with deep-fried frog legs being served.
Saturday’s special had evidently not been decided.
They are closed on Sundays and Mondays, and open on Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (the kitchen closes at 2 p.m). They serve breakfast on Saturdays only.
They will be closed the Fourth of July.
Lunch specials samples are ribeye steak sandwich, chips and a drink; hamburger and chips; hot dog and chips; and a grilled chicken sandwich.
The Meat Market also 40-50-pound bundles of frozen beef, pork and fryers, for freezers, cookouts, parties, etc. All bundles come cut, wrapped and frozen. There are seven different bundles from which to choose.
As Madison busily and happily continued to prepare the enchiladas in the shining clean kitchen, she said that she didn’t mind the work in the restaurant, and she actually seemed to enjoy it. She seems equally at home at the range as she is riding her horses, caring for her goats and working at her 4-H projects.
Besides, she knows that her equally-talented sister, Maisie, brother Brady and the rest of the family will be joining her to lighten the load in their family affair business venture. .