VIOLA CAFE is named in honor of our maternal grandmother, Viola Bost Andrews. Our grandmother was a quiet, modest woman; and as a result of her unimposing personality, we paid precious little attention to her merits as we were growing up. Only as we have aged- become mothers, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers ourselves- has Grandma Andrews become increasingly the object of our respect and awe.

Overcoming the hardships of an impoverished and largely fatherless childhood, Viola graduated from a small, rural college and later taught Latin there; married and homesteaded all alone in South Dakota so that her husband could support them by teaching in southern Illinois; and produced a family of six daughters. Her first child, Imogene, died of Asummer complaint@ at nine months of age. Her second daughter, Dorothea, was our mother.

Our grandmother was to develop into an exquisite seamstress as she sewed clothing for her large family; in later life managed hundreds of acres of farmland; and became a pillar of her church and community. But more memorable to us than any of her other achievements, Viola was a divine cook! Never a recipe; never a measuring spoon; yet to visit grandmother was, above all, to be abundantly and sublimely fed.

The kitchen here at VIOLA CAFE doesn=t begin to compare with our grandmother=s; but the desire to create an experience of well-fed contentment probably comes from our years at the round oak table in grandma’s dining room. VIOLA CAFE's name is a small gesture of gratitude to all grandfathers and grandmothers, for the gifts they pass down to us, generation after generation.

Anne Walsh and Andrea Platz, Viola=s granddaughters