Food from the heart

Mittie’s Cafe embodies feeling of home through food, staff and atmosphere

Photo by Kathleen Sturgeon
Photo by Kathleen Sturgeon
Elizabeth Seago has owned Mittie’s Tea room since May 2015.
The wonderful Lauren Stupp serves top selling Miss Emily's Salad Plate. So many orders, not enough hands.
Hosts and guests alike love having private parties and celebrating the "moments that matter" on Mittie's newly opened veranda screen porch. There are rooms available for all size parties.
Miss Emily's Salad Plate includes the famous Miss Emily's Chicken Salad on a bed of greens with fresh seasonal fruit, a customer favorite, tea, muffin and house balsamic dressing.
Mittie's caters too, so you can take Mittie's anywhere. Order sandwiches, salads, quiches and sides for groups small and large through their website and app.
Photo by Kathleen Sturgeon

Growing up, Elizabeth Seago called Mittie’s Cafe her second home.

From her job as a waitress while attending Milton High School, to working her way up to manager before she left for Georgia Southern University, the 27-year-old has returned to Mittie’s at 62 North Main Street in Alpharetta time and again.

“I loved the small business aspect of Mittie’s,” Seago said. “I grew up working in food. My uncle owned a catering business. I’ve been working with food since I was about 12 years old, if not younger. I got to do everything at Mittie’s. I didn’t just have to sit in my corner and do my job. They taught me everything.”
And now, the young local has owned the business since May 2015.

Her background of working at the cafe for more than 10 years has helped keep the family-like atmosphere alive in the thriving teashop.

After graduating with her degree in hotel and restaurant management, Seago was trying to figure out her next step in life. While between jobs, the former owner of Mittie’s asked Seago if she would ever want to own her own business, or even Mittie’s. But Seago thought the question was rhetorical until she was brought a number to buy the business.

“She said ‘We’re ready, are you ready too?’ And that’s how it went,” she said.
Since buying the business, Seago has used her love of the cafe and her own knowledge of the industry to continue on the beloved traditional aspect of Mittie’s. She has also incorporated her own touch.

The restaurant’s consistent menu includes its famous chicken salads, Miss Emily’s and Cherry Bleu Chicken Salad, which are both recipes from presidential families, lobster bisque and, of course, tea service -- all still as popular today as they were when the store opened in 2003.

Seago is developing a new concept of occasionally mixing things up with specials from time to time.

She added a dish titled Elizabeth’s Crepes after she and her staff were looking to add something to the breakfast menu. This plate, made of strawberries and Nutella wrapped in a crepe shell and topped with Nutella, strawberries and Chantilly cream, is what Seago would eat every morning.

“We want to honor the tradition of everything we’ve been through here,” Seago said. “But we always want to update it and branch back out into the community. We’ve been here for so long we have such a great following of people. But there are also people who don’t know we’re here. It’s a way to reach back out to have a refresher.”

Aside from the food, the atmosphere and feeling customers get when they walk in the door is what Seago believes brings back the regulars and entices the first timers.

“It’s the feeling of getting to spend those moments with the people who matter to you and having a good environment to do it in,” she said.

And one of the most memorable moments of coming full circle for Seago is the customers who remember the staff, including people who remember her from her early high school days.

“Last year there was a lady who remembered me being her waitress and doing her bridal shower,” Seago said. “And then we recently hosted her children’s birthday party. So you get to see the whole span.”

That’s just one positive outcome of having a loyal customer base.
“One of the best parts about being in small business is getting to know the customers,” Seago said. “Moments can be special and in all different shapes, forms and sizes. That’s something this business has taught me. We always say ‘It’s your moment.’”

For information on Mittie's, including online ordering, visit ■


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