Restaurant server Sarah Branz, 29, known for her thoughtfulness, has been waiting tables at County Kitchen for 14 years, she not only enjoys the customers but thinks of her co-workers as family.
Capri Taylor, of Sedalia, said recently when she thinks of someone thoughtful she thinks of Branz.
“(She) goes above and beyond,” Taylor said. “We’ve been going there forever and love to get Sarah. My daughter even knows her by name. Sarah is able to recognize me over the phone at this point, and always pays attention to detail, she’s awesome.”
On Wednesday, Juanita Limbocker, a Sedalia native, stopped to chat with Branz as she left the restaurant. Limbocker said she comes into the restaurant once or twice a week.
“She always recognizes me,” Limbocker added. “She wasn’t my waitress today, but I wanted to talk to her.”
Branz enjoys working with the public and grew up in the restaurant business. Her parents Tom and Cindy Stock owned Country Kitchen for years. Now her brother Justin Stock owns the business.
“I was born with a tray in my hand,” she said smiling. “I started over at the Ivory Grille, that was my first initial training as a waitress. Which was good, it was really classical, fine dining and you really know how to take care of a customer.”
She added that she enjoys working with the customers, but she’s also a “foodie.” She cooks for her husband of five years, Andy Branz.
“I usually cook whenever I can at home,” she said. “We surround ourselves with food all the time as a family.”
While at work she looks forward to serving regulars as well as new customers and enjoys working with the restaurant’s staff.
“I wouldn’t be as calm or as put together if I didn’t have our team around,” she noted. “I wouldn’t be anything without my team. Everybody helps everybody out. We’re a big family.”
Branz is a master at remembering her customers’ orders and she takes time to talk to people.
“That’s the thing, I don’t know their names too often, but I know exactly what they eat,” she said.
All that kindness pays forward when customers arrive with gifts and smiles.
“We’ll have customers come in and bring us flowers,” Branz said. “Or even flowers to plant or vegetables. We get a lot of people who take care of us as well, just as much as we take care of them.”
She added that at Christmas customers bring in chocolates and gifts for the staff.
“They have been here a long time too,” she added.
She said businessmen David Curry and Jim Callis come in often to not only eat but talk with her and the staff.
“They get to know you and ask about your family,” Branz said. “What we like the most about it is, instead of take your order and leave it’s more of a communication. It makes you feel good.”
Customers become like family and she remembers those who “pass on.”
“All the ones who have come and gone, that have passed,” Branz said. “There are a bunch of them like George Thompson and Margaret who would come in daily and always eat the same thing. I can tell you that order off the top of my head, and John Mothersbaugh and so many other people that have been so kind to us.”
Branz said she plans to continue to serve others.
“… Wherever the road takes my husband and I,” she noted. “We’re pretty open for anything, I think I could do this anywhere. It’s stressful, but I think it’s a lot of fun.
“It works great for my lifestyle,” she added. “I get to see a lot of people and a lot of my friends come in and my family.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.