From time-to-time, we write about the business of running a business: about how we make decisions, about how many times decisions just make themselves from lack of decision-making, and about how those decisions sometimes work—and often don’t. The truth of the matter is that running a business (or a life, or a family) is about thinking about something—and then rethinking it again—and then rethinking it again. So it is with our menu at The Factory Café.

In some ways, it’s hard to believe that The Factory—including the store and the café— has only been open since November of 2013. The Factory space feels like such an important part of our studio; in reality, we’ve celebrated our connection to our community over and around our farm tables for less than a year.

In the kitchen, we’ve developed new recipes, presented delicious dishes from award-winning chefs, and celebrated those chefs (and an array of worthy organizations) through our Friends of the Café Dinner Series.

Everything we have served has (when humanly possible) been sourced locally and regionally and there have been three glorious seasons of learning, celebrating, growing, and, of course, growing pains. If you’ve had lunch at the café, you will know that our lunches (served on Heath ceramics) are delicious expressions of the best our community and region has to offer, but you might have also experienced that we ran out of some of our favorite menu items early in the day. (In retrospect, this is a good problem to have.) You may have had to wait longer than what seems a “normal” lunch service in what Jennifer Rausch calls a perfect expression of “Slow Food.” (You may have also been awarded one of our now-famous chocolate chip cookies for your patience.)

We have tasted, tried, tested, and re-tested recipes, ways to present our dishes, and menu options galore. And today after thinking and (re)thinking our service, we have decided to return to our original idea of a daily menu that changes to reflect the ever-shifting ingredients that are available. You see, one day we may have delicious Chilton County peaches, and then, quite suddenly, the next day they are gone. Heirloom tomatoes are prolific deliciousness in our BLT on house-made ciabatta bread; however, the tomato supply may dwindle based upon that week’s yield—only to reappear a few days later.

Think of it as an exciting exploration of what our kitchen crew calls the Alabama Chanin version of “Chopped.” Our cafe menu will post here every weekday morning by 9:00am. You can also visit our Facebook page to link through to daily deliciousness. Or just show up and see what Mother Nature has in store for you that day. We hope that you will visit us often as we learn to make Slow Food, perhaps just a little less slowly.

Thank you for your support.

PS.: Check out today’s menu here.


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  1. Mary Berdan

    I’m in the far Northwest part of the USA from Alabama, but so enjoy your journals regarding the cafe. One-of-these-days, I will be there to enjoy whatever will be on the menu. One-of-these-days . . . and hopefully not in my dreams!