MOM AND SON RUN THE SHOW — November 2007

By Barbara Mellon

There is no reason to fear missing your morning cup of coffee, or that hot soup and sandwich at lunch.  Although Nate Seals sold “Cassie’s Kitchen” and left the area, a very capable team has stepped in to carry on.

Many of you are already familiar with the cooking of Maria Henderson. For 5 years she and husband Wade ran “Wade & Maria’s” in what is now the Cantina. She has also been doing the cooking at Cassie’s on the very popular Wednesday Night Dinner for the last year and a half.


Maria Henderson and son Cory Ackerly take over the reins of Cassie’s Kitchen.

Now Maria is partnering with her son Cory Ackerly on this new enterprise.  Cory has recently returned to the area from Georgia, where he operated a pizza place in Savannah. Having gone to school, lived and worked in a number of cities, he realized he missed the small town atmosphere and decided to come home. Happy to be back in Andes, Cory will be doing the lion’s share of the cooking as mom continues to work full time at the Allen Residential Center and Youth Leadership Academy in South Kortright.

So what will change under the new management at Cassie’s?  First: the hours. The restaurant will be open daily from 7 am until 4 pm, serving their regular menu. On Friday and Saturday, the full menu, plus dinner specials, will be available until 9 pm. And Maria will continue with the Wednesday nights, so from 4 until 9 pm you’ll be able to select a meal from one of her 3 specials. Don’t look for Cory that night, except perhaps as a customer. “Wednesday is my Mom’s night,” he told me.

The second change will be the name. Put on your thinking caps because Cory is reaching out to his customers for help with this. Shortly he will begin soliciting suggestions from which he and the staff will make the final decision.

Look for new décor as well.  The now bare walls will be decorated with the works of local artists. First up will be photography by Andes resident Joe Damone and others. If you are interested in having your work displayed in the restaurant, contact Cory at 676-4500, or just drop in and see him.

The friendly repartee that is so much a part of the atmosphere at Cassie’s is certainly not going to change. When asked what he was not looking forward to, Cory joked, “Dishes.” and “Brie,” while longtime waitress Brie Stoecker immediately shot back “What’s changed? I’m still doing dishes and cooking.”

Maria says she is looking forward to being around the people. Since closing her restaurant on the corner she has missed her old customers, but working full-time plus running a business was just too much for her.  In this new venture she’ll only be working in the restaurant on Wednesdays, plus doing the baking after hours. A lot of work, yes, but as she put it, “As long as I have Cory, I’m O.K.” ~