Our History

We have always had a dream of operating a family cafe in Cookeville. With over 26 years operating I-40 Dairy Queen, we have built relationships with our customers that will last a lifetime.

Our goal is to bring you healthy, homestyle cooking with our own hint of southern flair.

Operating the only homestyle cooking drive thru in Cookeville, we are sure to be a healthy, convenient option for all three meals of the day. Stop by and grab a quick lunch to go, or grab a family meal when there just isn’t enough time to cook dinner.

We welcome you to come in and let us treat you like our own family!

Leonard and Lo Smith

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READ THE RECENT ARTICLE ON OUR CAFE PUBLISHED IN THE HERALD-CITIZEN:

A special thank you to Megan Trotter and Ty Kernea from the Herald-Citizen

 

New restaurant in a little building with a long history
by: Megan TrotterHerald Citizen

The Bourne-Smith family stands outside their new restaurant, Family Traditions Cafe. Pictured, from left, are John and Amy Bourne, co-owners; two-year-old Caden Smith, being held by Leonard Smith, co-owner; Tiffany Smith; Lolita Smith, co-owner; and Brandon Smith.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Ty Kernea | Herald-Citizen

The Bourne-Smith family stands outside their new  restaurant, Family Traditions Cafe. Pictured, from left, are John and Amy  Bourne, co-owners; two-year-old Caden Smith, being held by Leonard Smith,  co-owner; Tiffany Smith; Lolita Smith, co-owner; and Brandon Smith.

Photo: Ty Kernea |  Herald-Citizen

COOKEVILLE — Anyone driving by the little  building beside the Cookeville Mall Flea Market that has housed a Dairy Queen  since 1986 may have noticed that the business has been replaced by Family  Traditions Cafe. The building is still owned by the same family, who has owned  local Dairy Queen businesses for generations.

“We’ve always wanted to do  something along the lines of home cooking,” co-owner Lolita Smith said. “We all  enjoy it and usually can draw a crowd if we’re cooking for people.”

The  family restaurant business started in the mid-1950s when Lolita’s grandfather,  Carl Bean, purchased the Spring St. Dairy Queen, which he later sold to his son  Herman Bean and his wife Rebecca in 1972. They worked in the businesses with  their three children. The family purchased the Dairy Queen next to the mall in  1986 and purchased the Dairy Queen in Smithville in 1997. “That gave us  one (business) for each child,” Lolita said.

Now she, along with her  husband Leonard Smith, her sister and brother-in-law Amy and John Bourne, and  her brother and sister-in-law Bruce and Sherri Bean, have closed the Dairy Queen  near the Cookeville Mall Flea Market and opened Family Traditions Cafe. It is  what is known as a “meat and three” restaurant — a place where diners can pick  one type of meat and three sidedishes from the menu.

“More than anything,  I think, we wanted healthy alternatives,” Lolita said. “It’s hard to find meat  and vegetables at night. Working at Dairy Queen, we could never eat at the ‘meat  and threes’ because by the time we could leave the store, the ‘meat and threes’  were closed.”

Now the family will not only get to enjoy “homecooking with  a southern flair,” they will also get to share it with the community. Their menu  includes items such as barbecue, chicken and dumplings, fish, meatloaf,  cornbread, Salisbury steak, rubens and other sandwiches and desserts, as well as  breakfast foods, and more. They also plan to still offer decorated cakes, both  baked and ice cream, and also hope to add a full service bakery in the  future.

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, from  7 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. The  drive-thru is still open, though it is suggested that those using it call ahead  at 931-526-4111 to place their order so as to reduce waiting time.

Each  day’s specials are placed on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which can be found  by searching the restaurant’s name, and their full menu is available at  familytraditionscafe.com.

Read more:  Herald Citizen – New restaurant in a little building with a long history