Tuesday December 15, 2009

Oswego’s ‘Aunt Mary’ to Sell Downtown Business

Aunt Mary’s Italian Café to operate under new ownership
By Lou Sorendo

    Aunt Mary’s Italian Café, 197 W. First St., Oswego, is being sold.

    Current owner Mary Plummer’s business consists of a restaurant specializing in home made soups, breakfast, hot lunch and dinner specials, as well as a catering and cookie-making business.

    Closing on the transaction is scheduled for Jan. 4.

    Brenda Howard will be the new owner. She is currently a waitress at the business.

    “She approached me about the business. I wasn’t really looking for anybody. It just kind of happened,” Plummer said.

    Plummer did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

    Plummer said the business is doing “phenomenally well” and she is making an “obscene amount of money.”

    “The problem is that I’m 61 and I basically have put my life on hold,” she said.

    “I haven’t been able to be a proper wife, mother and grandmother. It’s all-consuming,” said Plummer, noting her day can stretch from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    “I guess I’m not a good delegater, although I never thought of myself as a control freak,” she said. “But my name is on the window, on the business and on the reputation I built.”

    Plummer has done business from the front of her downtown location at 197 W. First St. for two years. She occupied the back portion of the building 18 months prior to that.

    “It’s been three-and-a half years. It’s been pretty grueling,” she added.

    Plummer, however, will actually work at the restaurant as an employee following the closing.

    She will be working mornings, coming in to cook, get soups ready, prepare the special of the day, and serve breakfast.

    However, “I’m going to be able to go home and not have to deal with payroll, shopping, buying and ordering, all the things that go along with it,” she said.

    “Hopefully, I will be able to gracefully step down when I am ready and not have so much responsibility,” she added.

    Plummer said she will miss her customers the most.

    “To me, that’s what it’s all about,” she added.