CREEDS — It may have been raw and blustery outside, but when customers walked into Creeds Café one recent day, they were greeted by the warm smells of homemade soup and mashed potatoes.
Owner Angie Humphrey also had a warm smile for everyone, despite having been rushed off her feet by an unexpectedly large lunch crowd on her opening day. Humphrey reopened Creeds Café in December, after the restaurant was closed in November by retiring owner Donna Nash.
The new menu includes traditional favorites such as fried chicken, fried liver and onions, and hamburger steak. Humphrey also features fresh produce from Cromwell’s Produce.
On weekends, when the café is open for breakfast, the menu includes omelettes, eggs benedict and blueberry pancakes. Fittingly enough, Humphrey plans to add strawberry pancakes to the menu next spring.
There will also be homemade desserts made from locally grown fruits in season and, for right now, Humphrey’s specialty dessert, a brownie sundae. There’s also mashed potatoes — the homemade kind, made from real potatoes, said employee Ashley Roberts.
“All her food is real,” Roberts said. “There is nothing from a package.”
“My food is a little different from the previous owner’s,” Humphrey said. “She served mostly seafood, while my food is mostly Southern.”
Humphrey, who worked in the café when Nash owned it, decided to go into business for herself when Nash retired. It was the culmination of a lifelong dream.
“This was something that my dad and I talked about for years,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey grew up cooking with her father, Carlton Moore of Pungo. He loved to cook, and Humphrey said that he and she would often prepare Thanksgiving dinner for 36 people.
Moore died in 2014, but Humphrey has carried on his legacy. She’s worked in restaurants much of her life, and she’s also cooked for fundraisers. Her personal favorite dishes, she said, include fried liver and fried chicken.
“I know how to make some fried chicken,” Humphrey said. “I’ve been doing that for years.”
The café’s customers include local farmers and employees of the nearby police training facility and fire station, as well as community residents.
Restaurant work requires long hours and a lot of sacrifice, and life right now is hectic, Humphrey said. Her son, Willie Humphrey, and his friend, Elizabeth Cromwell — whose family owns Cromwell’s Produce — have been helping her. Otherwise, she manages with only two other employees, but it is a close-knit crew.
“I like working with Angie, and I like the customers,” Roberts said. “Everybody is like family here.”
Seeing the customers enjoy her food makes it all worthwhile for the new owner.
“Every day is a challenge,” Humphrey said. “But I like to feed people and see the smiles on their faces. I like making people happy, and usually when you give them good food, you’ve made them happy.”
Creeds Café is located at 605 Princess Anne Road. For more information, including hours, call (757) 301-8874, or follow it on Facebook by searching @thecreedscafe.
Jane Bloodworth Rowe is a freelance writer who grew up in Sigma and still lives in southern Virginia Beach. Reach her via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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