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Ma & Pa's Foods open for business

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MA & PA:Amber and Donn Hovis, co-owners of Ma & Pa’s Foods, 3242 S. Washington St., in front of the eatery on Friday. The business, which has been open since March 19, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
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NOW OPEN:A sign lets passers-by know that Ma & Pa’s Foods, 3242 S. Washington St., is open for business.
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SEATING AREA:Tables and chairs are available for customers to sit and eat at Ma & Pa’s Foods, 3242 S. Washington St.

BY Paige Conley - pconley@chronicle-tribune.com

Ma & Pa’s Foods arrived in Marion on March 19 under local ownership.

Owners, Amber and Donn Hovis, had their eye on the building along South Washington Street for a long time before they purchased it in February. After a month and a half of cleaning and inspections, they finally opened March 19 of this year.

“It was a challenge, but we hung in and got it done,” Amber Hovis said.

The building has been the location of several businesses including an ice cream shoppe and a BBQ joint, but for the past few years it’s sat empty, said Donn Hovis.

According to Hovis, he wanted to go in a different direction with the establishment.

“Something different other than ice cream,” he said.

Even so, Ma and Pa’s Foods still offers a selection of ice cream that varies from novelty items to hand-dipped and soft served flavors. In fact, one of their specialty items is their ice cream pie – an ice cream bowl filled with ice cream covered on top with a chocolate coating.

“All of it is going to be edible, but the spoon, of course,” Amber Hovis said.

The restaurant features several classic items including coney dogs, hamburgers, and gyros. However, it’s the giant tenderloins and french fries that are their most popular items, Amber Hovis said.

The tenderloin is so large that Hovis gives customers two buns and double the toppings for their sandwich. Their fries are also fresh-cut straight from potatoes every day and cooked to order.

“They don’t want the food that has the substitutes in them,” Amber Hovis said. “They want the actual food.”

The restaurants ingredients weren’t the only things the Hovis’s kept in mind while opening their business. According to Amber Hovis, the restaurant’s low prices are meant to help local community members who don’t have a lot of money for a hot meal.

“He (Donn Hovis) wanted to open a restaurant where somebody on low income could still get something to eat,” Amber Hovis said.

Ma & Pa’s Foods is a family run business. According to Amber Hovis, they like to do everything as a family and try to involve their children whenever they can.

Not only that, they try to involve the community, as well. Amber and Donn Hovis noticed when they bought the building there wasn’t a lot happening in their part of town.

“Our goal is to try and get something going on in South Marion again,” Amber Hovis said.

As well, she wants to to try and hold events that keep the kids in the community busy and out of trouble. However, she is still in the process of working out what she wants to do.

Right now, the Hovis’s are focused on bringing customers into their restaurant. According to Donn Hovis, they’ve had several slow days because of the weather, but they hope all of that changes once summer arrives.

“We’re really hoping that people start to realize we are here,” Amber Hovis said.

Amber Hovis tries to think of new inventions to draw people into their restaurant, but she said it’s how they treat their customers that really matters.

“We try to cook the food the way you guys like to have it,” she said.

The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, they also take orders for whole pans of brownies and cakes upon request. If a customer has a large order, the Hovis’ ask that they call ahead at 765-573-5342.

Ma & Pa’s Foods is located at 3242 S. Washington St., right at the point next to Family Video. They are open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. However, on Thursdays and the first Saturday of every month they are open from 7 a.m. to noon. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.