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Fletcher buys into Ole Times Country Buffet

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- She doesn't totally "own" the place, said B.J. Fletcher at one of her restaurants on Tuesday, but her investment puts her name on the sign and something more.

Fletcher served as manager of the former Ole Times Country Buffet on Dawson Road for more than nine years, she said, working for Pat O'Neal, owner and founder of the Albany restaurant and restaurants in other Georgia cities.

Fletcher said she wanted to give something to the community, and believes the newly named BJ's Country Buffet will give her that opportunity.

Fletcher's idea was to give away at least 50 buffet meals each week to people who were hungry and couldn't afford them, she said, and to offer her customers the opportunity to purchase meals for others.

According to Fletcher, O'Neal agreed to sell her a "significant percentage" of the business, allowing her to change the name and to carry out her plan to donate food.

"Pat was all for the (donated) food thing," Fletcher said. "He couldn't do it just in Albany, though. He said he'd have to do it in all his restaurants, and he wasn't sure he was ready for that."

Meals will be donated based on lists obtained from churches, schools, individuals and other qualified sources.

In addition to BJ's Country Buffet, Fletcher and Sarah Edmunds own Cafe 230 on West Broad Avenue in Albany.