Karen Fisher opened a small cafe in downtown Puyallup despite never attending culinary school. She was her own inspiration for the creation of the business and founded it in 2006.
Fisher’s love for cooking and baking inspired her to create The Sweet and Savory Cafe and Catering Company. Prior to establishing the cafe, Fisher worked as a real estate agent and had no classic culinary training. Fisher learned her cooking skills from her mother and the Food Network, teaching herself everything else she needed to know along the way. She was encouraged to start a catering business after seeing her neighbor’s company had a commercial kitchen that wasn’t used during the day.
“I just kinda always knew that I would have a restaurant one day,” said Fisher.
At the company’s first building, Fisher operated her catering company until the building’s lease expired which led her to start her own lease in the same building. When that lease was up, she found a new location downtown whose owners were completely revamping the interior of the building which is where she has remained since 2009.
“Moving into this space was a huge turning point, it was a commitment to actually having a restaurant and not just a catering business,” said Fisher.
Fisher currently works alongside Marcella Pradia who has been a line cook with the company for the last two years. The cafe is best known for its fresh tomato basil soup, while the grilled cheese and wild mushroom crepes are loved by locals as well. All of the cafe’s salad dressings are made from scratch and any salad can be ordered as a wrap.
When the pandemic began, indoor seating was closed and the restaurant switched to takeout orders only. By changing the menu to incorporate food products that had multiple uses, Fisher was able to make the menu efficient. For the first month of the pandemic, Fisher worked by herself.
“That was really tough because I was answering the phones, I was prepping, I was cooking, I was doing all the shopping and then handing people their food,” said Fisher, “it got to be super stressful so I brought on another person to work the lunch rush.”
As a result, she reconfigured the restaurant so she could answer the phone and make drinks at the same time. Fisher made an effort to communicate with customers about the updated guidelines. Regardless of the restricted hours and decreased amount of customers, dedicated community members eat at the cafe weekly.
“We have die hard customers and they come in and want to support us and make sure we don’t have to shut down,” said Pradia.
The Sweet and Savory Cafe and Catering Company is located at 201 South Meridian, Puyallup and is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pictures of the cafe’s food, as well as updated information about their hours, are posted on the business’s Instagram and on Facebook.
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