Sis­ters’ dream comes true with Blue House Bak­ery and Cafe

The Saline Courier - - BUSINESS - By Elisha Mor­ri­son el­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

A pair of sis­ters have made their dream come true with the open­ing of the Blue House Bak­ery and Cafe in Bryant.

“We have al­ways talked about want­ing our own bak­ery and lit­tle cafe,” said Jill Averitt, who coowns the new restau­rant with Joy Bill­son.

Blue House which opened Oct. 23 serves break­fast, lunch, cof­fee and pas­tries.

Since open­ing, the sis­ters have been over­whelmed by the com­mu­nity’s re­sponse.

“They’ve blown us away,” Bill­son said.

In the first few weeks, the store ran out of spe­cials most days due to so many peo­ple want­ing to try it. Averitt said the cafe al­ready has reg­u­lars.

“We did not ex­pect this type of re­sponse,” she said.

The sis­ters be­gan do­ing cater­ing to­gether 10 years ago, mostly lunch and din­ner of­fer­ings. The dream was al­ways to have a brick and mor­tar store of their own.

Averitt said at the be­gin­ning of the year, they re­al­ized they were meant to do it this year.

They looked at a few lo­ca­tions be­fore set­tling on the space in the shop­ping cen­ter on Arkansas 5 in Bryant.

When the sis­ters started try­ing to de­cide what to call the bak­ery and cafe, they knew they wanted it to be a name that meant some­thing. Averitt asked Bill­son when she first fell in love with cook­ing. Her an­swer was the blue house.

Averitt ex­plained that grow­ing up, they al­ways re­ferred to where they lived by the color of the house. Af­ter their fa­ther built the blue house, they moved in when Bill­son was 10 years old and Averitt was 8. They lost that home to a fire a few years later.

“Ev­ery­thing I have learned, I have learned from Joy,” Averitt said, adding she taught her to cook, bake and re­ceive peo­ple in her home.

Home is what the pair want to make the restau­rant feel like.

“We look at it as a home away from home where peo­ple can just come in and get a meal,” Bill­son said. “We want ev­ery­one to feel loved and cared for like we would our fam­ily.”

They want the cafe to be a place where peo­ple want to hang out. Their goal is for it to be warm and invit­ing.

From the re­tail space of­fer­ing gifts to the flower bou­quets for sale in the flower cart, they wanted to make it a place they en­joy.

“I feel like there are pieces of me and Joy through­out the space,” Averitt said.

Their sis­ter-in-law Krystal Weaver is re­spon­si­ble for much of the de­sign that pulled the place to­gether, they said.

“She is very tal­ented,” Averitt said. “We are lucky to have her in the fam­ily.”

Blue House of­fers the foods the sis­ters en­joy and like to make for their own fam­i­lies.

“It’s noth­ing fancy.

Just good home cook­ing,”

Bill­son said.

The food in­cludes soups, sand­wiches, sal­ads, pas­tries and more. On the wall near the counter, the sis­ters have their grand­mother’s recipe card for choco­late gravy blown dis­played as a mu­ral. The gravy is avail­able on Satur­days.

Dif­fer­ent house plates are avail­able as the daily spe­cials. They are work­ing to es­tab­lish a sched­ule of spe­cials for the cus­tomers who want to know what days they can get dif­fer­ent dishes.

Averitt said some peo­ple get The Big

Man break­fast and are con­fused be­cause they ex­pect it to be a huge meal. It is ac­tu­ally a meal of the things their dad eats for break­fast. In­stead of “Dad,” their brothers af­fec­tion­ately call their fa­ther “Big Man.”

From 2 to 5 p.m. each day the kitchen is closed, but the cafe still of­fers pas­tries, cof­fees along with grab-and-go op­tions, usu­ally in­clud­ing what­ever that day’s house plate spe­cial was.

They can make spe­cial or­ders, but they need 24-hours no­tice. With the hol­i­days com­ing up, they will be able to make pre­ordered sides and cin­na­mon rolls on Satur­days.

The store is lo­cated in Bryant be­cause that is where Bill­son lives. Averitt ac­tu­ally lives in At­lanta, but has been in the city for months get­ting the cafe go­ing.

“She loves Bryant, and I have come to love Bryant,” Averitt said.

The cafe is truly a fam­ily af­fair. Bill­son’s hus­band, Gerry, and son, Pryce, both work along­side them, along with her daugh­ter-in-law Bethany. Their mom, Belinda Weaver, makes the bis­cuits.

Blue House is lo­cated at 4000 Arkansas 5

N., Suite 3. It is open Tues­day through Fri­day for break­fast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. The kitchen is closed 10:30 to 11 a.m. to switch over to lunch. Lunch is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Satur­days the cafe is open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for break­fast and brunch.

The num­ber is 501-9437372. Daily spe­cials are posted on Face­book and In­sta­gram.

ELISHA MOR­RI­SON/THE Sa­line Courier

Sis­ters Jill Averitt and Joy Bill­son ful­filled their dream by open­ing Blue House Bak­ery and Cafe where they of­fer home cook­ing for break­fast and lunch.

ELISHA MOR­RI­SON/THE Sa­line Courier

Cus­tomers can pur­chase a va­ri­ety of gifts while vis­it­ing Blue House Bak­ery and Cafe.

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