PORTER - The Porter Cafe got a new manager this summer, but the person behind the counter is still familiar to a lot of customers. Stacey Sik said that relationship with the people who come in for coffee or lunch is one of the highlights of the job.
"You get to know everyone, and it's like one big family," Sik said. It's even been a bit bigger than she anticipated, she said. "It's been very busy. I'm getting used to it now."
Sik officially started her work as manager on Aug. 1, but she has worked at the cafe for more than five years, starting out working with previous cafe manager Deb Cornell. The actual changeover happened pretty fast, Sik said, so there wasn't a break in service - or even the cafe's hours. Cornell closed up on July 31, and Sik opened the next morning, she said.
Photo by Deb Gau
Porter Cafe manager Stacey Sik, at right, and staff member Tammy Borstad stand by a cafe sign donated by members of the community. Sik officially became manager of the cafe earlier this summer.
"You fall into kind of a routine," Sik said. "People have been so decent, the days just kind of roll one to the next."
It takes a lot of work to keep the cafe running, though. In addition to early-morning coffee, mealtime rushes and Friday-night supper specials, the Porter Cafe is a town gathering place. Sik and the other cafe staffers help out with senior dining, and the cafe is the place where a variety of community meetings and meals are held.
It wouldn't be possible to do everything by herself, Sik said. Besides Sik, several local people are helping to keep the food coming. Staff members include Tammy Borstad, Megan Baumann-Arends, Brandon Aschbach, and Terry Dybsetter.
Borstad, a relative newcomer to the cafe, said she's been having a lot of fun working there.
"Tammy's been really good to work with. She likes to bake," Sik said, and makes good soup.
"Everything is homemade," Borstad said.
The community has played a big part in making additions to the cafe, she said. Local residents helped clean the building before she opened the doors Aug. 1, donated a salad bar and the cafe's new sign out front.
"If we didn't have the cafe, there wouldn't be a place to meet and greet," Sik said. "There's a lot of farmer talk."
Sik joked that the cafe is like the town "information center," with people asking about local news. Sik said she doesn't always know the answers to those questions, but she can usually find out.
While she's its manager, Sik said the cafe is really all about the people of Porter.
"The people own the building. It belongs to everybody," Sik said.