Seven years ago, customers could find cosmetologist Stacey Griffith inside a hair salon in either Columbia or Sturgeon.
Then one day on her way to work in Sturgeon, something caught her eye.
“I noticed that a restaurant across the street was for sale,” Griffith said. “So I started asking the owner questions on how much he wanted.”
Soon after, Griffith gave two weeks’ notice and began doing her homework on restaurant management. She’d donned an apron for years at her father’s restaurant and bar, but now she would be in charge.
“We came in and remodeled the whole place, repainted everything,” said Griffith, 46. She called the restaurant “The Buzz,” to create an “everybody’s-talking-about-it” theme, and topped off the metaphor with bumblebee decorations.
“Sturgeon really needed a good place to eat, somewhere kid-friendly, a fun place to hang out,” she said. “We really didn’t have a restaurant in town. There were several over the years that opened and closed, opened and closed.”
Griffith wanted hers to stick around.
“We had to prepare a menu that wouldn’t allow people to get stuck in a rut,” she said. “We have pizza, steaks, sandwiches, Mexican food. A big variety.”
Griffith’s forte was number crunching and managing the restaurant. She still needed a sidekick to take care of the cooking. That’s where her husband, Bruce, came in.
“He actually worked somewhere else when I opened the restaurant,” Griffith said. When Helig-Meyers closed down, he needed a job, and his wife knew just where he could apply.
To date, they have hired only two part-time employees. Otherwise, she said, “[Bruce] and I do just about everything.”
Griffith said the only thing she misses from her salon days isbeing able to go home after work.
“When you own your own business, there’s something to do every day, even if you’re off.”