HOMEGROWN: Cafe 212

By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal

Apparently, a lack of culinary training hasn’t hindered Amanda Hayden from creating a popular lunch restaurant and coffee shop in downtown Tupelo.
“I actually cannot stand to cook, but I love food. …sandwiches are easy,” she said.
The owner and operator of Cafe 212, Amanda and her husband, Jason Hayden, serve lunch to a faithful crowd – some so committed they have their own sandwiches on the menu.
This month, to celebrate their seven years in business, the Haydens are featuring special sandwiches named after some of their favorite customers.
The Haydens met when they were 12 and ended up neighbors about as many years later. Just shortly after they married, Amanda decided to open the Main Street eatery when the then-proprietor decided to call it quits. Amanda bought the equipment from the owner and opened shortly thereafter.
Although she claims to have no ‘culinary’ skills, she and her mother created most of the menu items through the process of trial and error. Some local favorites include white cheddar pimento cheese, two kinds of chicken salad and their homemade chocolate chip-peanut butter pie.
Cafe 212 hopes to expand its work space soon. The small preparation area has made filling large catering orders somewhat tricky, but the pair have managed jobs as big as 300 people.

OWNERS: Amanda and Jason Hayden

ADDRESS: 212 W. Main St., Tupelo

HOURS: Coffee served Monday -Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch served Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

ESTABLISHED: April 3, 2006

PHONE: (662) 844-6323

ONLINE: www.cafe212tupelo.com

The Sunday Journal spotlights a locally owned business. To nominate a business, contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@journalinc.com.