Congrats to Sassafras on Main as January Member of the Month
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors surprised Chuck and Sue Kristek with Sassafras on Main, located at 218 S Main Street, Bluffton, on January 5 as the January Member of the Month.
This historic building built in 1902 has changed over the years. Sassafras on Main has been a restaurant for nearly 6 years. “We were drawn to the beauty of this building and the history. We saw the opportunity to grow a business and keep a landmark alive,” explained Chuck.
Chuck came up with the name because he heard Sue’s mother say it often. They felt the name fit the motif and elegance of the building. Chuck said the name fit the house perfectly.
Although Sue and Chuck are always looking for talented staff they are appreciative of a long-term employee, Nick Hankes. “Nick has been a big part of our success and appreciate all that he does and contributes to the business. We are very thankful for Nick,” said Chuck.
Over the years, people have told them the building is haunted. They both laughed and replied “the spirits in the building are in the bottles behind the bar. No, it is not haunted regardless of what people may think.”
Chuck started his culinary career at a Chicago Restaurant in 1983 and has had hands-on experience since that time. “I went to school to be an Accountant and soon discovered that was not a good fit for me. I have always gravitated towards cooking and drove my mother crazy inviting people over to the house growing up to taste meals I had prepared,” said Chuck. “This was my calling because I enjoy making quality food to make people happy.”
Chuck takes the extra time to prepare meats such as Prime Rib and Brisket. “The breads and noodles are made from scratch and our specialty soups include French Onion Soup and Cream of Poblano Soup. There is not much we don’t make from scratch. Sue even makes the best Crème Brule and she is the Queen of weird Cheesecakes,” added Chuck.
It’s important for the Kristek’s to support the community and keep dollars local. “We buy local as much as possible and carry out the concept of farm to fork in our community. We have customers that grow produce for us during the season,” said Sue.
“I think as a business owner in this community we have a responsibility to support and foster organizations. It’s powerful to help organizations change lives and we need to be a part of that change,” said Chuck.
“The best part of this business is that we have experienced the special moments in people’s lives over the years. Perhaps they had a birthday party, baby shower, or wedding reception at Sassafras and they come back for the next life event. We have been a part of those memories and special moments that have taken place and that is very special to us,” Sue concluded.