Mendy and Jason Warren will have the grand opening of “Our Daily Bread” in downtown Albany on Feb. 10.
ALBANY, Ga. -- A Lee County family is pouring its love and future into a new business in downtown Albany, taking a leap of faith they hope will become the next successful chapter of their lives.
Jason and Mendy Warren never really thought they'd end up the proprietors of their own restaurant, much less that it would open during one of the toughest times in the country's history for small businesses.
"I guess you could say that we're putting it all into God's hands," Jason Warren says. "We've leapt off the edge of the cliff. Whether the parachute opens or not is now out of our hands."
And yet, come February 10, the two will officially open Our Daily Bread, their vision of a family-friendly restaurant and coffee bar.
It wasn't too long ago that Jason was working at Home Depot and Mendy was baking cakes for friends from their home for a little extra money.
And when an opportunity came to put Mendy's 12-layer chocolate and caramel cakes on sale at what was known at the Dtown General Store, the opportunity presented itself to expand their operation.
"It literally was a matter of being at the right place at the right time," Jason Warren said. "When B.J. (Fletcher) opened the General Store we asked for a rack, and that rack grew into a kitchen, and now that kitchen has grown into a restaurant."
Currently, Mendy Warren is baking for five different local restaurants and stores in addition to selling cakes out of the store on Washington Street.
And over the past three months, the Warrens have taken what was known as the farm market and pumped their life savings into remodeling, re-stocking and re-branding the store to meet their vision.
"We wanted to turn it into our place and our vision," Mendy Warren says. "A place where you can walk in, relax on the couch, grab a cup of good coffee or have a sandwich or a slice of cake and just take a load off."
Jason said their vision for the store comes as the sum of all the various places they've visited while traveling.
"We've been all over and I guess we've kind of taken the good things that we saw, and brought them together here," Warren said.
The doors are already open as a part of what Mendy called their "soft" opening and patrons are already finding their way in.
The two say their pasta days -- days they put their homemade, hand-cranked pasta on the menu in addition to their everyday sandwiches -- are some of their busiest.
They have also started selling bagels made from scratch starting each morning at 7:30.
And, in a way that sets them apart from many restaurants in the area, they are also selling some of their gourmet items packaged for customers to take home and incorporate as components in their own recipes.
"If you like our pasta, we'll make some up and sell it to you so you can treat your wife or girlfriend for dinner one night," Mendy Warren said. "Or you can buy a bottle from us and buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil by the ounce to use at home."
"And when everything gets back in season, we'll sell vegetables in here as well," Jason Warren said. "We're big fans of fresh food."
To learn more about Our Daily Bread, find them on Facebook by searching for Our Daily Bread Albany.