Soups, cinnamon rolls are coming out of the oven, and fall specials are in place

Elliott Wolf maintains a customer favorite - fresh, homemade cinnamon buns - sold by the dozen at the Family Food Store on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in Sawyer.
Family Food Store owner Greg Wolf checks out the Honey Exhibition Center, a popular stop for many shoppers who come from near and far to purchase homemade items.
Fresh flower arrangements are a new adventure at Sawyer's Family Food Store, where customers can also find sweet buns, bread, loose cheeses, and a welcoming atmosphere.

Nine years ago in October, Greg Wolf and his family embarked on the adventure of creating culinary experiences in southern Pratt County. They never dreamed it would take them to 2021 as a thriving rural grocery, food and craft store in a town of less than 100 people. But Sawyer’s Family Food Store is celebrating this season with the usual favorites, plus a few new ones, for loyal and new customers who come from near and far to enjoy food like grandma did.

“I would say we never imagined making and selling the equivalent of 63 dozen sweet dough molds and 18 dozen individual large rolls a day,” Wolf said on Saturday. “This is really a standard amount and it will double as the holiday season approaches.”

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (open days at the Family Food Store), the large and fluffy cinnamon rolls with flavors of cherry, peach or apple cinnamon are the favorites of customers. Wolf, his wife Ruby, older children Chloe and Elliott and several local employees prepare, sell and serve a multitude of homemade items. Wolf said he noticed an increase in sales of cream pies this fall – with more peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter and coconut cream pies passing the checkout.

Homemade breads, traditional pies with flavors like apple, cherry and peach, plus frozen pizzas and casseroles for dinner, as well as signature sandwiches on homemade hoogies are available year-round, but often see a pickup in the fall.

“From October to March, we also serve special soups made from scratch, one flavor per day,” Wolf said. “My wife and daughters set the program, but it changes from week to week depending on the flavor of the day. They imagined soups from family recipes handed down from generation to generation, then added their own twist to make them very. , very good.”

Soups customers seem to love, whether they buy in the bowl or in jars to take home, include flavors like bacon corn chowder, cheeseburger, creamy chicken and noodles, cheddar broccoli from the garden and the creamy chicken and wild rice.

“Out of necessity we had to start making more and selling them by weight in jars because people would come in and try the flavor of the day and just say, ‘Oh, I want to take some of that back to my family.’ , “Wolf mentioned.

Making extra soup is one of the few customer requests that Wolf has been willing to concede over the years, he said. As a chief calculator and with a solid background in business, he said keeping their energy focused on what works was a much better strategy for success than trying to guess and respond to the whims or concerns of each customer. .

“We have to keep almost a laser focus on our priorities to make it all work,” he said. “We’re about as busy as we can get right now.”

With that in mind, Wolf said the Family Food Store’s top priority has always been to create an experience that leaves customers wanting more.

“For us it was about doing it right, doing it with healthy ingredients and serving food like grandma could have done years ago. That’s what people come for. here and that’s what keeps them coming back, ”he said.

The Family Food Store celebrated the start of fall and its anniversary in October with the addition of cookies and gravy to the menu on weekdays, but it has become a favorite all year round.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we started selling them regularly throughout the year and we kept going,” Wolf said. “We have cookies and gravy every morning open, but you have to get there early because we almost always run out. “

Gift items related to food and home cooking, as well as unique indoor and outdoor decor items are also available year-round at the store.

A honey stand offers local spun honey from Medicine Lodge and organic honey from Cheney, along with honey sticks, teddy bears, fun bee-themed items, and a cookbook. Nearby, a display of hot chocolate and choices of specialty coffees are eye-catching. Aprons, pillows, old-fashioned clocks, and standard cookware are complemented with country art and Christian-themed wall hangings that help create this heartwarming experience that Wolf and his family love to share.

“I’m the wholesale orderer and the early morning dough mixer, so I really rely on my wife and daughter to create the welcome displays,” he said. “They do a good job and bring something fresh every season.”

New for this fall are the freshly picked flower arrangements, right from the nearby Wolf family gardens. They add to the thrilling experience of simply walking through the discreet front door of the Sawyer’s Family Food Store.

The Family Food Store isn’t hard to find as it’s only a two-block stretch of Main Street in Sawyer. The store at 201 S. Main Street is directly across from the US Post Office and directly under a bright blue water tower, along US Highway S. 281, which runs directly through town.

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