Momma's home cooking in a shed
by Lisa Tome
Sue Ventura's shed doesn't contain the typical lawnmowers, gas cans, and bicycles.
Instead, Ventura's place is chock full of family history and home cooking.
For the last three summers, Ventura, owner of Momma's in the 3400 block of Augustine Herman Highway, just south of Cecil's Animal Care complex, has been preparing food and serving it from a shed which she converted to a restaurant.
She named it Momma to honor her mother, Frances Meekins. Meekins formerly cooked at Lyon's Pharmacy in Elkton and now helps in the restaurant early in the day preparing for opening. "These are her recipes," said Ventura.
Ventura has overseen the neighboring produce stand for years. That evolved into concessions. The concessions then evolved into the construction of the shed restaurant which can be moved anywhere. And, although it's in a shed, Ventura has abided by all the laws mandated for full size restaurants. She has her trader's, peddler's, and business licenses, and her Cecil County Health Department certification.
"The licenses alone were a nightmare. But everything is legal and I renew them every year," said Ventura, who pointed out that her approved counter used to be a refrigerator door from a commercial refrigerator.
The menu isn't huge but the items are homemade. Prices range from $1.25 for a hot dog to $7 for a crab cake sandwich. She also serves crab soup, french fires, chicken bites, pork sandwiches, cole slaw, burgers, popcorn shrimp, seafood salad, and potato salad. On weekends, she expands the menu to include smoked chicken and ribs. The potato salad and chicken bites are new on the menu this year.
She worked in restaurants in the past, but is glad to have her own place. She aspires to have a brick and mortar restaurant someday. She plans to name it Just Wicked.
She has served customers from all over the world - Russia, Italy, and closer to home - Florida. Since the business is seasonal, she has return customers who come back year after year. "People like to talk. You get to know their names," said Ventura.
The hours at Momma's are daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. If you are elderly or unable to get out of your car to walk to the restaurant, she will come car side and take your order.
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