KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mildred’s has been a Kansas City fixture for years.
Like many of its restaurant neighbors, the breakfast and lunch spot is still navigating pandemic changes.
“It’s the life we’ve always known," said Evan Ashby, who has grown up at Mildred’s.
His parents opened the restaurant in the 1990s.
“It supported myself and my two older brothers through high school and college and stuff like that and, you know, we grew up working in the family business. After school, on weekends, waking up super early," Ashby recalled.
He is now the manager, and he and his colleagues have had a hard year-and-a-half.
“Incredibly stressful time wondering whether or not we’re going to be able to survive this thing," Ashby said.
They navigated a slow 2020, and then a rapid ramp up a few months ago.
“We were 30% busier than we've ever been before over 20 years. And we didn't have the staff we needed to keep up," the manager explained.
Little by little, they’re back to full staff, but the business of breakfast is still a challenge.
“Coffee is a big one…prices are going up. And, I mean, that's been the case for a long time, it's kind of it's something that it's one of those commodities that's kind of always getting more expensive, which is great because the quality of coffee is going up," Ashby pointed out one of the issues.
It’s not just breakfast beverages, either.
“Pork is going way up. We're pretty big on breakfast sandwiches around here so we do go through a lot of bacon, we go through about 50 pounds of bacon a day," he added.
Ashby says the menu hasn’t changed, and neither has the steady stream of customers.
“Very, very thankful for the amount of people that come in here every day. They are just eager to support local small business and they’re more than happy to put their mask on," Ashby said.
The doors remain open, and a family tradition continues.
“It's a real honor to like kind of carry it forward that legacy, a family business has been around for a long time and I'm very, I feel very proud that I'm able I'm in a position to be able to like my mother and my father can retire," Ashby said.