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The Coffee Break

My Take


A chicken pot pie was probably the last meal Edwin Fannin will ever cook for me.  

He and his wife, Dardie, have sold The Coffee Break. They are moving to Alabama to help care for Dorothy’s mother. Thursday, they turned over the operation of the restaurant and coffee shop to new owner Rita Davila.  

Edwin provided her with the recipes for all of his dishes. While the menu might be unchanged, the experience of eating lunch there won’t be the same for me.  

I will miss Dorothy’s infectious smile, something I always appreciated even when she would inform me, I was too late for the shrimp and grits special.  

Edwin was always busy in the kitchen, but he would always take time to say hello and sometimes would come out and sit with me at my table for a minute or two. Despite overseeing a hectic kitchen, he always had a pleasant demeanor that brightened even more when you told him how great his cooking was. That was something I always had the chance to tell him.  

I never had a bad experience at The Coffee Break. The food is always top-notch in freshness and preparation.  

Speaking of the shrimp and grits, when I was on time to eat them, they never failed to be the best rendition of the dish I have ever tasted…period. New Orleans to South Carolina, the state where the dish supposedly originated, and all points in-between can’t match Edwin’s rendition for flavor. But it isn’t just the food and the Fannins.  

The Coffee Break is a place to see so many people who live in Shelbyville and Bedford County who eat there on a regular basis. I hope it will continue to be such a gathering place just as I hope the food will still be on a par with what Edwin served. I have faith.  

I am not a coffee drinker. I have had seven cups in my life, and I can tell you what each occasion was. So, I can’t really appreciate all of the cups The Coffee Break has served over the years and all of the caffeine habits they have satisfied.  

I always looked forward to Dorothy’s monthly calendar touting the specials ahead. I often plan my schedule on certain days around those specials.  

Almost everyone has a mission statement, but not everyone fulfills them.  

On the website the mission is “an exceptional dining experience to our community first and foremost.”  

You fulfilled that mission and more Dorothy and Edwin.  

Your presence will be missed. 


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