Dave and Marlene Lake celebrated 25 years of business at their restaurant, Cabbage Rose, on December 1.

Cabbage Rose celebrates 25 years in business

Since first opening their restaurant, Cabbage Rose, on December 1, 1992, Dave and Marlene Lake have strived to provide delicious entrees and excellent customer service to the Guthrie Center community. This month, the Lakes are celebrating 25 years of business at the restaurant. 

Although the restaurant opened in 1992, Dave Lake explains that the history of the restaurant really goes back to 1973, when he and Marlene first got married.

“Our first meals were primarily Banquet chicken and Totino’s frozen pizza,” he said. “We gradually expanded on our cooking. We bought a LP gas grill, and (we) grilled chops and chicken. With both of our moms being excellent cooks, we got more involved in cooking and grilling.” 

In 1978, Marlene Lake opened the Strawberry Patch, a women’s clothing store and gift shop on State Street. In 1992, she had the opportunity to buy the building next door, and with this purchase, the Cabbage Rose was born. 

When the restaurant first opened, the hours were 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. Since then, the restaurant’s hours have evolved to being open on Sundays only as well as holidays. 

In the early years, Pearl Courtney helped the Lakes in the kitchen, and Ina Kness made desserts for the restaurant. Since 1995, the Lakes have been preparing all of the food and desserts for the Cabbage Rose. 

The restaurant also began catering and hosting private parties, wedding rehearsals and class reunions in 1993. 

“We have catered weddings or events in Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Dedham, Earlham and other local communities,” said Dave Lake. “The Cabbage Rose over the years has provided a place for our high school students to work on Sundays (and) holidays and help with the catering. They have all been excellent help.”

The Lakes say that adapting to the changing times and creating positive relationships with customers is what has allowed them to stay in business for so long. Over the years, tastes have changed, and popular entrees have come and gone. In recent years, the use of the smoker has grown, and the Lakes are considering adding a small addition to the back of the restaurant so that they can use the smoker year-round. 

On Sunday, December 3, the Lakes celebrated their 25th anniversary with the Cabbage Rose by inviting customers to come out and receive a free dessert with every meal. The celebration had excellent support from the community and long-time customers. 

“(The best thing about owning a small business) is the friendships you make with your customers and the business community in a small town,” said Dave Lake. “On Sundays, it’s customers coming to the kitchen door to tell you (the food) was good. It’s those comments that make it worthwhile to get up on Sunday morning.” 

Looking toward the future, the Cabbage Rose hopes to see many anniversaries to come. 

“Marlene and I have made a lot of friendships over the years with our customers that we will always cherish,” said Lake. “We will continue with the open Sunday tradition as long as customers come through the doors.”

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