LakeLeader Of The Month
Cedar Creek Lake.Online
November 2019 Lake Leader of the Month
“HF Family Table and Market”
The time was right. The bustling, small Cedar Creek Lake town of Malakoff was way past ready. And partners RJ Flowers and Joe Hessley knew they were up to the task of introducing a world-class, family style restaurant; a one-of-a-kind dining establishment that would be recognized for its quality food, wine pairings and craft beers. The menu selections would always be fresh and , whenever possible, contain locally sourced ingredients for their gourmet style family food selections. Thus, after an enormously successful July 5th 2019 Grand Opening, HF Family owners RJ and Joe, employees and tons of Cedar Creek lake area fans have not looked back since.
Today HF Family is our November Lake Leader of the month and I’ve had a great time learning more about the restaurant, their great menu, employees, suppliers, recent special events and much more.
But first, the HF Family Restaurant story begins about three years ago when RJ and Joe first opened a gourmet desert shop in downtown Malakoff; Mister Sweet Tooth. The quaint retail shop was an instant success becoming known initially for its lavish deserts and a popular stop for locals. Soon after, it became a destination hit for customers across the lake as well. After that, word spread further and customers began coming from as far away as Dallas and Tyler. (RJ tells me a second Mister Sweet Tooth is in the works and is expected to open very soon in Gun Barrel City.)
After the Mister Sweet Tooth success, RJ and Joe decided to venture into a more ambitious endeavor with a full family style restaurant in what was originally an old antique shop. The building located at 213 South Terry Street in Malakoff, had to be completely renovated with a commercially approved kitchen, permitted public restroom and dining area with the appropriate furnishings. Taking on the enterprise was truly a ‘family’ experience as both RJ’s and Joe’s brothers came in to lend expertise in menu and cooking strategies as well as business expertise.
The resulting menu is what RJ likes to call a family style selection. While many of the choices include traditional entrees such as Lasagna and Homemade Italian Meatballs, this is not the pre-manufactured set of mass-produced “comfort food” or shared, pass around the table all-you-can eat venue that you find on many busy street corners or highway exit ramps. RJ likes to point out that they take pride in carefully paring each entree with a unique, often times hard to find, special wine or craft beer. The pairing comes from the years of training the owners and staff have acquired in understanding and recognizing what works to please even the most discriminating palate. And, of course, the desert selections come from where else, but Mister Sweet Tooth!
HF Family prides itself on sourcing only the finest ingredients for all of its entrees and side dishes. No corners are ever cut and whenever possible, they always try to use local providers for the freshest ingredients. Rosewood Ranch in Seven Points provides their Wagyu Beef, Full Quiver Farms in Kemp provides cheese and dairy products, Bennet Family Farms in Malakoff offers fresh eggs and honey, Milk and Honey Meadows in Malakoff delivers Honey and Sweets.
HF Family offers it’s unique, hard-to-find, fine wines & craft beers and exotic assortment of cheeses, jams & jellies, olives and other condiments in the dining room but also for sale as carry out items. They also provide carry-out for their menu items and can even arrange catering for your holiday or special off site celebration event. HF Family can also host your event at their location for your private party.
In closing, keep an eye out for a couple upcoming events at HF Family. On November 15th they will be having a Thanksgiving Inspired Dinner with live entertainment by well-known recording artists Backhand Sally. And, on December 13th, HF Family will be hosting a Holiday Kick-off meal with special wines and entertainment by Backhand Sally. HF Family Table and Market is located at 213 Terry Street; Malakoff, Texas. For reservations, catering or to arrange a private event, call 903-489-0972.
Cedar Creek Lake.Online
May 2019 LakeLeader of the Month
“Lone Star Marina and Tiki Hut Bar & Grill”
With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend in Texas, everyone knows Cedar Creek Lake welcomes the unofficial beginning of summer and all the outdoor recreation opportunities our lake life has to offer. One special feature that’s become a lake favorite tradition and our Cedar Creek ‘LakeLeader’ for May 2019 is the Summer Season opening of the Lone Star Marina and its sister operation, the upstairs Tiki Hut Bar and Grill beginning May 23.
The Lone Star Marina offers a full marina customer experience ranging from marine gas, boat & jet ski rentals and slips, a boat ramp, on-site mechanic services and even water craft for sale! They are also one of Cedar Creek Lake’s largest dealers for innovative boat lifts and floating docks!
Customers are especially fond of the fully stocked Ship’s Store where they can find most anything for their lake life needs ranging from water toys and safety equipment to ice and snacks. Cedar Creek logo shirts and souvenirs are plentiful and it’s really nice to come in from the heat for a few moments to cool down and browse the shop shelves and find that perfect gift item or that much needed spare part or extra supplies.
The Tiki Hut is simply the most charming experience of lake side dining literally over the open water with fresh, specialty grilled foods and masterfully mixed cocktails, wine, beer and soft drinks. You enter the space by climbing a set of stairs where you are then presented with a gorgeous open air view of the marina below and the inlet cove with water craft coming and going. Weekends bring out live music to dine and drink by so the time goes by with relaxing fun and entertainment for all at the same time!
Can’t launch your boat at another North Texas lake? Heath Hamaker, Lone Star’s manager says he’s hearing that this season has been particularly tough for many boaters on some of North Texas’ other most popular lakes due to excessive rains this spring.
The high rain fall counts have led to many park and boat ramp closures restricting or even prohibiting many boaters from launching their watercraft on nearby lakes.
Hamaker says, “Come to Lone Star Marina at Cedar Creek where the water’s fine! We’ve got a great boat ramp and all the fuel and fun you’ll need to have a great experience with family, friends and of course your boat!”
To get there by vehicle, Lone Star Marina is located at 1937 Island Circle; Tool, Texas 75143. Telephone is 903-432-2268 and you can email them at [email protected]
Stay tuned for our CedarCreekLake.ONLINE June 2019 LakeLeader of the month coming up next week!
Cedar Creek Lake.Online
April 2019 LakeLeader of the Month
“GBC Upholstery and Restorations”
Fine craftsmanship, attention to detail, commitment to excellence, decades of experience and professional recognition; these are the traits that best describe GBC Upholstery and Restoration and its owner Galen Irwin.
With over five years dedicated to satisfied lake area customers, GBC Upholstery earns our April 2019 “LakeLeader” recognition award.
Galen brings over four decades of trade craftsman experience and his exacting attention to perfection for every job he takes on.
Whether it’s hand sewing an intricate repair job for a circa 1900’s antique sofa or fully restoring a 1961 Chris Craft mahogany boat with a rebuilt engine, interior seats, instruments and all new accessories, there’s no project Galen can’t handle.
GBC Upholstery has completed all kinds of restoration projects ranging from motorcycles, household furniture, vintage cars and even aircraft interiors.
No job is too big or too small for GBC Upholstery. Free estimates can be provided on the spot. You can bring your item to their shop located at 1223 Harbor Point Road; Gun Barrel City, Texas 75156 (next to the Gun Barrel City Airpark).
It’s best to call ahead and make an appointment so you know he’s there before you go! The phone number is 903-802-8574.
Cedar Creek Lake.Online
March 2019 LakeLeader of the Month
“Texas Clean Pro’s”
Texas Clean Pro’s is our Cedar Creek LakeLeader for the Month for March 2019! Local owner Jacques van der Plas has been in the cleaning and restoration business for over two decades and when it comes to tackling big home and commercial clean-up jobs, there’s no project he can’t handle. And he has the literally hundreds of happy Cedar Creek Lakelife customers to prove it!!
Jacques says many projects start out with power washing jobs but then move on to gutter and window cleaning, tree and leaf removal and even boat, jet ski and car detailing.
One of his specialties is sidewalk and driveway cleanup’s. Jacques says he can take years off a home or commercial building’s appearance simply by cleaning off the walkway and driveway and sprucing up the exterior windows and gutters.
That’s why many homeowners looking to sell their properties in the spring and summer look to Texas Clean Pro’s first to get a thorough upgrade for their spring and summer clean-up projects.
Jacques explains that Texas Clean Pro’s full range of services include Power Washing, Deck and Dock Washing, Floor Cleaning, Gutter Cleaning, Leaf Raking, Rug Cleaning, RV’s and Trailers, Stone and Concrete Cleaning, Tile and Grout Cleaning, Water Removal and Window Cleaning. And, Jacques adds that they’re going to be offering some really good discounts and referral s for the upcoming spring and summer months.
The best way to get in touch with Texas Clean Pro’s is to give them a call at 903-802-6178
Cedar Creek Lake.Online
January 2019 LakeLeader of the Month
This month, Cedar Creek Lake.Online’s publisher, Eric Gore, met with Tonya Luby, Co-owner, (along with husband Joe) of Jalopy Joe’s; our January 2019 LakeLeader of the Month Award-Winner. Here’s what Tonya had to say upon being selected for the award.
Eric: Happy New Year, Tonya and congratulations on being selected for this month’s award! Tell our readers a little bit about Jalopy Joe’s and how you and Joe came about starting your successful Cedar Creek Lake area business.
Tonya: Thanks, Eric. We’re totally a community based, local business and are thrilled to be recognized by your publication. This idea was originally Joe’s as he wanted to build something fun for the Cedar Creek kids here locally who would usually have to travel away to Dallas or Tyler to experience something fun and different. Today, lots of folks bring their kids in just for a fun time. And we get lots of locals who bring week-end guests in just for the shopping experience. So, now its also turned into the reverse of what Joe and I originally expected. It started out being a place Cedar Creek kids could come into for fun. But now, it’s a place Dallas and Tyler kids can come to for fun; especially if it’s Winter time or if their summer weekend lake plans get a little unexpected rain!
We started our business on February 17th, 2010. I bought into Joe’s original vision immediately from the beginning and after starting to build it together I began running it myself full time. Now, for both of us, it’s truly become a ‘labor of love’, as the saying goes.
Eric: What was one of your biggest early surprises as you first started your business?
Tanya: Well, it was simply how fast things began to take off. We knew early on that we were on to something big. At first, we started working with schools and different organizations for fund raising causes. Kids would sell popcorn to local businesses or neighbors to raise money for trips or uniforms or various causes. As that started to pick up, so did our retail traffic. It was a great way to establish and build our brand and grow with the community. Over the years, the retail side has grown faster and larger. I like to think that today, our retail business is the ‘bread and butter’ while the fundraising is the ‘gravy’. We rely on and appreciate both sides of the business and are grateful for all of the customers and the community we are honored to serve.
Eric: For anyone who drives by your store, they can’t miss the red and white striped Jalopy Joe’s car parked outside. What’s the story there?
Tonya: Joe and his dad John have always been huge car nuts. When it comes to cars and virtually anything mechanical or cosmetic about cars, these guys can do anything; even the impossible. I”m so proud of both of them! So, our signature brand is the Jalopy Joe car and between Joe and all the events and even the car shows he’s attended, this Jalopy Joe car has acquired over 300,000 miles and it still runs as perfect as the day it was driven off the show room floor! He takes pride in the way this car performs and looks and it speaks to the story behind our business and the popcorn, candy products and customer service we provide six days a week!
Eric: Wow! That’s impressive. Speaking of products, what are some of your top sellers?
Tonya: Hmmm. That’s a tough question!! We have so many things and much more than just popcorn, you know! We have dozens of flavors of popcorn ranging from our famous Zebra Chocolate to spicy Cheesy Jalapeno and dozens in between.
We have real, retro-era soft drinks, hand-dipped ice cream (not soft-serve), and all kinds of gift items; plus, we deliver all around the lake area.
You might be surprised that during last year’s Valentine’s Day, for example, we delivered nearly 400 gifts throughout the Cedar Creek Lake area. So, of course, it’s getting close to that time again, so we’re getting ready to scale up for another big season! That’s what’s really fun about our business. We get to do all kinds of special gift sets for all the different seasons!
Eric: Well you must have a good team helping you keep up with things!
Tonya: Yes, we do. We’re so grateful for all of the Blessings from our employees, the community and, of course our customers. We think of our customers as family and many of them think of us in that way too.
I think that’s what building a local, community business is about and since 2010 that approach has worked well for us.
Eric: Thanks, again, Tonya for taking time out of your day to speak with me. Happy New Year and best wishes for a prosperous 2019!