“A pinch of love” | News, Sports, Jobs

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-Photo of the messenger by Chad Thompson

Sisters Crystal Lowrey, left, and Angie Reiter pose with steak tacos and a burrito at Pinch of Love Cafe, 850 S. 18th St. Both sisters have owned the cafe since 2017. After closing for about a year during the COVID -19 pandemic, the two changed the menu to feature more Mexican-style dishes.

Fort Dodge sisters Crystal Lowrey and Angie Reiter sometimes struggled to replicate Aunt Tammy Taylor’s recipes growing up.

So they asked him what his secret was.

“We could never make his recipes run smoothly”, Reiter said. “And she would ask us if we add a pinch of love.”

It was the inspiration for the two sisters when they opened their own cafe in 2017 on the south side of Fort Dodge. The name of the establishment is A Pinch of Love Cafe. It is located at 850 S. 18th St.

Their aunt died about a year before the restaurant opened.

-Photo of the messenger by Chad Thompson

A freshly made burrito is displayed at the A Pinch of Love cafe.

Now, with more experience under their belt, the sisters have mastered their own recipes. So maybe it’s no surprise when asked what their secret is, they respond by saying: “A pinch of love.”

Aside from coffee, Lowrey and Reiter each work full time. Lowrey works in the food service at Fort Dodge Middle School. Reiter works at the Community Early Childhood Center. And the two also spend a lot of time with their families.

But when the restaurant went on sale in 2017, it was an opportunity to live a dream.

“We have always dreamed of having our own restaurant”, Said Reiter. “He became available and we went.”

Reiter added, “We opened it because we wanted to serve our own food and use our own recipes.”

-Photo of the messenger by Chad Thompson

Crystal Lowrey, owner of A Pinch of Love Cafe, adds cilantro to a cafe burrito.

Business has been stable for some time. But then the COVID-19 pandemic turned the restaurant world upside down. And with a small dinner, the sisters did not think it was possible to distance themselves socially.

“We have been closed for a year for COVID”, Lowrey said. “So we reopened for about a month with our same menu and it wasn’t going very well. So we thought we would make a huge change and get people through the door.

This huge change involved making Mexican cuisine the dominant theme.

“The idea for the new menu was created because on our old menu we would have daily specials and our Mexican cuisine would be a big hit,” Lowrey said. “Since the stages went very well, we said to ourselves: ‘let’s change things’.”

The menu has been changed over the past two weeks.

-Photo of the messenger by Chad Thompson

A taco steak, left, and a Birria taco, are popular items on the new menu at A Pinch of Love cafe.

Among the most popular items are steak tacos, Birria tacos, and burritos.

“And people love Birria ramen”, Lowrey said. “We are very happy to have added it.”

Onion rings, pickles and cones are among the items that have moved from the old menu to the new menu.

“We make these (onion rings) at home,” Lowrey said. “Onion rings are all the rage. You certainly have enough to feed yourself. It’s a big order.

Fresh salsa is another local favorite.

“Fresh salsa is probably number one,” Lowrey said. “Some people come just to get this and that’s fine with me.”

The sisters are both from Fort Dodge. They are both graduates of Fort Dodge Senior High.

They like to work together.

“We like to work together” Lowrey said. “Some siblings argue but we get along pretty well. We take everyone’s opinions into account. We will not make any decision without checking first. “

They also thank their family for coming to help.

“Our mother (Shirley Dickerson) is a huge help,” Lowrey said.

“She really is,” Reiter added. “She comes and helps us no matter what. Either by helping here or with the children. “

Lowrey said Dickerson had worked in the food service industry in one form or another for about 40 years.

Dickerson taught his daughters to cook at a young age.

“We were quite in the kitchen with our mother”, Lowrey said.

“And we do the same with our children”, Said Reiter. “We love to cook. We have always cooked for friends and family. Everyone still loves our food.

Lowrey added, “If there is something to do, our friends and family come to us. Whether it’s for a graduation party, a birthday party or just a Sunday meal. “

They take pride in what is served to customers.

“We always say, ‘would you eat this?’ ‘ Said Reiter. “If it’s not presentable, we don’t kick it out.”

The sisters like to make the coffee work.

“I love to cook for people”, Said Reiter. “It’s good to have a place of your own.

Lowrey admits the location isn’t perfect, but hopes customers continue to find them.

“We thought it was small and something manageable for us,” Lowrey said. “We’re kind of hidden here in the neighborhood, so I think people easily forget about us.”

They love to do business in Fort Dodge.

“I love being part of the Fort Dodge community,” Lowrey said. “It’s a tight-knit community. Each has the other’s back. “

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