July 21, 2013
If you think Terry Brown is ever going to pat himself on the back, say many who know him best.
Brown is the owner of Terry’s Cafe in State Road.
“Yeah, I probably would’ve never scheduled an appointment had I known the paper was coming,” said Brown. “I love the paper. Don’t get me wrong. I just don’t like giving myself any patting on the back. I’ve never been that way.”
Brown was nominated for a Tribune Tribute.
“Wow! I’ve been blessed. People requested to read about me?” asked Brown. “Well, I would much rather you do my staff. They’re the reason I have been able to do what I do.”
The cafe is located at 1000 U.S. 21 in State Road. It’s in the corner section of a strip mall that houses other retails stores, as well.
Brown indicated that it’s a good feeling to feel appreciated.
“This is not a big place, but we stay busy,” he said.
Eight families depend on Terry’s Cafe and Catering to make ends meet in their household. Most of them are full-time. Many of them have been employed with Brown for years.
“My staff are always working so hard. It’s not easy getting a good staff. However, I got lucky. I have such a good team over here and many of the customers come in to see them too,” said Brown.
Customer’s are loyal.
“This is a place where you can come and feel like you’re with family,” said Julie Richardson of Elkin. “I keep coming back. So do my kids.”
Brown has been in the business for 30 years. He originally started at John Boys BBQ in Elkin with Glen Goad, the owner.
Brown, who was behind the grill, insinuated that he paid his dues by working for one of the best local restaurants around.
“I was a young 13 or 14-year-old, and I walked into John Boys and stayed there for about a decade,” said Brown. “I never wanted to leave.”
Brown opened a location in Jonesville, a spot in Dobson in front of the courthouse, but has since sold out of the Dobson location three weeks ago.
“This is a stressful business,” he said. “You need a break sometimes.”
When he is not working, he’s raising his son.
“I have a 15-year-old. My son (Nicholas Brown) is a great kid, and he can tear up a computer. He has a bright future, most likely will study computer engineering.”
The secret to restaurant life is understanding balance and who you are, he says.
“I am just so thankful for people following me where I go. I know people want to have me come back to Jonesville, but for me the secret is the same. I get fresh orders everyday. I do not buy frozen. I buy fresh,” said Brown.
Brown admits to having a difficult time saying no to people.
“I am not sure what it is, but I just don’t like the word ‘no,’” said Brown.
Throughout the entire interview, Brown projected a continuous welcoming smile.
“This is where people come to get away from other stresses. We’re family here. I don’t know how to lose the smile,” he said.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.