Customers of The Happy Café only have a few more months to enjoy the home cooking of owner Sue Hodges. The 17-year-old Forest Acres eatery is closing at the end of December as Hodges starts a new venture.

“The Happy Café has been a wonderful adventure and I hope a place where customers have felt welcome and nurtured,” Hodges said. “We have laughed, cried, and dispensed lots of unsolicited advice!”

Hodges’ journey began in 2003 when she opened the restaurant in the corner of the Happy Bookseller bookstore. Her daughter, Anne Reynolds, became a manager by the next year and Reynolds' four children have spent plenty of time behind the counter since.

“What an amazing experience and chapter in my life that I will always cherish,” Reynolds said. “We have met so many incredible people who have loved and supported us over the years.”

Hodges and Reynolds said they would love to see customers dine-in, order to go and stock up on favorites like the pulled chicken barbeque, casseroles, and Sue's famous caramel in the coming months. They said their plan is to close the cafe on a celebratory note.

The focus of the mother-daughter duo will be solely on Sue’s Caramel in the new year, which will become available online. Additional information about purchasing the product will be released in December.

The Happy Café is located at 4525 Forest Drive and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The restaurant is closed Sundays.

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