Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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Business

March 27, 2011

Finding their niche

Business is growing as Maggie’s Diner builds customer base

— WINDFALL — Opening a small business is always a risk, but Bill Anderson believes that Maggie’s Diner in Windfall has turned the corner.

“I hoped it would work,” he said. “It was a struggle, but I believe it’s going to succeed. Overall the town has accepted us recently.”

In the remodeled building at the only intersection in town with a blinking stop light, regulars gather for breakfast, conversation and good-natured ribbing before heading out to work.

Anderson and his wife, Lynda, own the restaurant that opened last June. Anderson sold concessions at festivals and fairs around the state for 20 years before he decided to open a restaurant.

He said since the couple have no children, they decided to name the restaurant after their yellow Labrador.

Maggie’s is non-smoking to keep the family atmosphere, Anderson said.

Like any hometown business, there is a group of regulars who stop by every day.

Rick Smith is one of them. The local farmer comes in daily for breakfast and lunch.

“I’m partial to hamburger and fries,” he said. “It’s pretty nice, the atmosphere is nice.”

Smith also introduced a co-worker, Scott Kimbrough, to Maggie’s. Now Kimbrough stops in daily for breakfast and sometimes for lunch.

“I like the biscuits and gravy for breakfast,” he said. “The hand-cut fries are awfully good.”

This isn’t the first restaurant Anderson has owned, so he some experience making foods from scratch that draw in customers day after day.

“We make American fare, comfort food,” he said.

Anderson operated the Twin Kiss ice cream parlor and restaurant in Sheridan for four years, but was forced to close when the lease was not renewed.

“We were searching for something else,” Anderson said. “We searched every where. This was not my first pick. I didn’t want to start from scratch.”

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