You notice it pretty quickly. No matter the time, whether they're with a group or all by themselves.
Everyone walking into Mamie's Cafe and Bakery has a smile on their face.
It might be because they're anticipating a good meal. Or that they've already smelled the bakery churning out the morning's treats. Or that they enjoy visiting someplace where they're made to feel at home.
Mirror photos by Keith Frederick
Karen Wyland, owner of Mamie’s Cafe and Bakery in Martinsburg, poses with taco salad shells while prepping for a recent lunch special.
Most likely, it's a combination of all three.
Since opening in 2006, Mamie's and its owner, Karen Wyland, have become a big part of Martinsburg.
"There's nothing else like it in town," said Dave Gurkin, a Martinsburg resident who visits Mamie's "once or twice a week."
Mamie's Cafe and Bakery
Address: 110 East Allegheny St., Martinsburg
Phone number: 793-9122
Web site: www.mamiescafe.com
Hours: 6 to 11 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the bakery
Price Range: $5 to $9 for cafe; $1 to $12 for bakery
Specialties: Breakfast mess, many varieties of French toast, Reuben sandwich, strawberry spinach salad
Seating capacity: 36
Another Martinsburg resident, Connie Lamborn, is quick to agree.
"We're lucky to have it here in Martinsburg," she said. "I think it's spoiled me for a lot of other restaurants."
Wyland, who lives in Williamsburg and commutes to her restaurant early each morning, has split Mamie's neatly down the middle. Half of the building houses the restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch, and the other half holds the bakery.
The bakery pumps out a huge variety of baked goods each day. Cakes, cookies, muffins, doughnuts and more in endless varieties fill the front of the shop.
"We have a full baking schedule every day and rotate every day or every two to three days," Wyland said. "It all sells. People come in and say, 'How do you get rid of all those baked goods?' We just do."
She adds this last with a good-natured shrug.
"The favorite sandwich we have is the Reuben," she said. "People say it's the best in the state. I also hear 'in the world.'
Wyland at times seems confused by the reactions to her food.
"We use really good ingredients and make everyday, normal food," she said. "It's just kicked up. ... I can't explain it, other than the food's just darn good and tasty."
But the food has proven a hit.
"I'll tell you the honest truth: With the exception of only a couple things I don't like, I could come in here and just say, 'Give me something,'" Lamborn said. "And if I order something and Karen says, 'How do you want it?" I'll just say, 'You make it however you think is best.' I just think she has a flair and a talent for making food flavorful."
Gurkin makes sure that out-of-town guests get a visit to Mamie's.
"I've brought a lot of people over here," he said. "I've never had a bad meal here, and I've never heard of anyone having a bad meal here."
According to Wyland, part of the success of Mamie's is due to a commitment to making the food from scratch.
"My life would probably be a whole lot easier if I didn't make homemade jellies and homemade dressings, but then all these people wouldn't be here," she said.
Wyland's commitment to her business has its roots in, well ... her roots.
Mamie's is named after her great-grandmother, Mamie Teeter, who owned and operated Teeter's Hotel with her husband, Frank, from 1929 to 1982. The former Teeter's Hotel burnt down in 2000, and the spot is now the parking lot for Mamie's - located next door. Teeter's is remembered with a mural recreation on the side of the Mamie's building.
"We were welcomed fairly quickly," Wyland said. "Sometimes it was a little too unique for this area. They didn't know how to take us at first.
"I went to New York City to see how the businesses up there looked and ran - so it was more of a city atmosphere in the country. And that was the part that was hard for a lot of people in this area at first."
But Mamie's quickly became ingrained in the community. And the staff - many of whom worked with Wyland at her previous restaurant in Williamsburg - quickly grew close. Also working at the restaurant are Karen's daughter, Valerie, and her boyfriend, Barry Heverly.
Valerie Wyland says the staff at Mamie's has become very close in the restaurant's five and a half years.
"It's definitely family," she said. "Laura [a server] has worked here since the beginning - she started in 8th grade and now she's just like a daughter also. It's a big family here."
Valerie, who graduated from Penn State's Smeal College of Business last fall, says the close-knit feeling extends even farther.
"Our regular customers, they come in and they're pretty much like family too," she said. "They'll come back into the kitchen and yell Barry's name and say, 'Hey Barry, I'm here!'
"They make themselves at home, and that's what's important."
The food, the atmosphere, the bakery - everything has combined to make Mamie's a go-to location in the area.
"Most of my customers now are from Bedford, Cumberland, Md., State College, Hollidaysburg, Altoona," Karen Wyland said. "A man from Las Vegas was here yesterday. And every time he comes to visit family once a year, this is the first place he comes. And he orders all these baked goods to take home. Now he wants me to ship him baked goods."
"This is a happening place in the middle of central Pennsylvania. It is. I like to toot my own horn. We're working [dang] hard here."
Mirror Staff Writer Keith Frederick is at 946-7466.