by Karen Mead-Elford, staff writer
CHRIS STIEGEMEIER and Mike Brady, two of four owners, stand near the smoker at Granny’s Kitchen in Oakley. An open house celebration was held over last weekend, and on Saturday smoked ribs and pulled pork were included. The restaurant offers an extensive menu that includes only homemade dishes and baked goods, all based on old-fashioned recipes. (Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
Granny’s Kitchen in Oakley actually opened in May, but recently the four owners of the establishment decided to have a grand opening celebration, and the turnout was impressive. The owners include Char and Mike Brady, and Chris and Glen Stiegemeier. Char and Chris are sisters. In fact, it is their image as children that is displayed on the sign in the front of the restaurant. Their source of inspiration is obvious; both in the name of their diner and in their photo as small girls. Granny’s Kitchen is wholeheartedly about serving old-fashioned comfort food; the type that Grandma may have cooked in her kitchen, and serving it in a family friendly atmosphere.
“Their mother and grandmother were both excellent cooks, and the girls have fond memories of going to their grandmother’s house,” Mike Brady discussed his wife and sister-in law. “It wasn’t fancy, but it was always good.” Char, Chris, and Mike were raised in the Chesaning area, so they have a direct connection to the community, too. Mike retired as an engineer from the phone company, and has now been a tax preparer for Hemenway Business Service in Owosso for fourteen years. He does this in the winter months. When he’s at the restaurant, he is often the “Go For.” This position essentially has him traveling the region for only the freshest items for the diner. The meat comes directly from Nixon’s Meat Market in Brant, the produce often comes from Frank’s Supermarket, and the fish comes directly from Saginaw.
“We buy all of our meat from Nixon’s,” Mike said. “It’s all local, never frozen. We buy as much local as we can.”
“We probably pull in people from within a 30 mile circle,” Mike stated about his clientele. “I saw a lot of people that I had never seen before at the open house. And everyone seemed to go home happy.”
Of the two sisters, Char’s passion is baking where Chris prefers to handle the savory dishes such as meatloaf and roasted turkey. Char’s carrot cake has become enormously popular. People will sometimes stop in just to purchase one of her homemade desserts to take home. She also bakes a pineapple upside down cake that is another fan favorite at the restaurant.
Another popular item at Granny’s Kitchen is the fried walleye dinner. The fish is lightly breaded and seasoned and comes with a vegetable, a potato choice, and salad. Mike was sure to point out that whatever item is decided upon in their menu, they will always do their best to prepare it the way the customer wants it. This desire to fulfill the customer’s expectations actually had them serving ground bologna earlier this year; a food item that is not necessarily a staple everywhere, but at Granny’s Kitchen, they actually sold out of it.
Mike is generally in charge of the smoker, too. Just last Saturday, Granny’s Kitchen offered both smoked ribs and pulled pork. Another rib day is planned for Saturday, Oct. 22.
Granny’s Kitchen is located nine miles north of Owosso on Oakley Rd. (M-52). Breakfast is served beginning at 6 a.m. throughout the week, and at
7 a.m. on the weekends. Char, Mike, Chris, and Glen wish to extend an invitation to the public to stop in, feel welcomed, and enjoy the homemade food.