Liz and Jay Tinkham said they thought they were done with the restaurant business when they moved to Greene County from Florida.
Instead, they opened Mamma T’s Eats & Treats, where they serve a range of hot and cold sandwiches, using bread they bake daily, as well as wraps, salads, soups and other daily specials such as burgers and ribs, depending on the day.
Liz also bakes a range of desserts. Those include what the Tinkhams said are the staple desserts, cannoli and cheesecakes, as well as other cakes, brownies and whatever Liz decides to bake. Cakes can be purchased as a whole or by the slice.
“Everyone is used to frozen these days, but this is just fresh, home cooking we do every day,” Jay said.
They said Liz’s fresh-baked desserts have been popular with customers so far, as have the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and meatball and chicken parmesan hoagies.
Both the Tinkhams come from restaurant-owning families, and Liz said her father and her grandfather introduced her to her love of baking.
“My dad had a deli in New York, and my grandfather was a baker for many years,” she said. Her grandfather, whose cannoli recipe she is using at Mamma T’s, was also a cook in the Navy.
Jay’s family owned a pizza place called Luigi’s Pizza, with two locations in Florida, which he said the family sold when he was 20 and his father’s health took a bad turn.
The Tinkhams also had a cafe called Lizzie T’s for five years prior to moving to Greene County in 2015.
“It was a mom and pop type of place. We sold a lot of baked goods,” Liz said.
Mamma T’s isn’t just about the food, though. It is also a CBD product shop, and a successful entry into hemp farming was what led to the new business venture.
“This is our third season growing,” said Jay. “We make our own products from lotion, lip balm and muscle rubs to honey and Delta 8 edibles.”
Liz said hemp is a “happy plant,” and Delta 8, she explained, is “a legal form of THC that is extracted from the hemp plant. It is isolated from the plant and made into a compound that can be infused into edibles. Delta 9 is legal in several states, but it isn’t here yet.”
Edibles range from gummies and candy, like “nerd bombs,” to baked brownie bites, which Liz makes with or without Delta 8.
Those products are sold at a counter in the restaurant alongside the baked goods and the area for customers to order and pay.
“We were starting to make more products, and we saw there was a call for it, so as it got bigger and bigger, and we started making more and more stuff, we just realized we needed a store for it,” Liz said. “So we decided to do two in one and open another restaurant.”
Jay said the hemp farming venture began as an effort to help Liz’s mother with some serious health issues.
It’s not medical, and they’re not doctors, they both emphasize.
“But that is why we got into growing and making this stuff. We wanted to try and help, and people say they like it,” Jay said.
The Tinkhams’ family owned and operated farm is called ‘Merica Hemp Farm, and they said they also raise Great Pyrenees dogs.
Prior to moving to Greene County in 2015 after falling in love with the area while on vacation, aside from their cafe, Jay worked as a vendor delivery driver and Liz had a 25-year law enforcement career.
Jay said he and his family are “pretty boring. We just like making people’s bellies happy.”
They said business has been going well since they opened Mamma T’s in April.
“It has been fantastic,” said Jay.
“We have had such overwhelming support,” Liz said. “I don’t know how to describe it. It has been awesome.”
Mamma T’s is located at 200 Bohannon Ave. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.
For more information, call the restaurant at 609-7796.