Northeast Cobbers who have been here since the early 1990s may remember Cafe 33 owner, Shane Clements, as a football lineman, class of 1993. Clements played college football for East Central University of Oklahoma and came back to Cobb after earning a bachelor's degree in education.
Oklahoma is where Clements' cooking roots start. The "33" is "Mom," Clements' maternal grandmother's birth year. "Mom's" recipes dominate the Cafe 33 menu. Clements is proud to honor his now deceased grandmother by keeping her love of good food, family and friends the focus of his restaurant located at the intersection of Sandy Plains and Piedmont roads.
The cafe seats 50 people inside and 12 outside, the mezzanine can be rented, the place is a Wi-Fi hotspot and the menu is served, made to order, all day.
Clements is a hands-on restaurateur, working many roles including teaching himself how to create the website for his enterprise. Clements' brother Paul is one of three employees. The business is in the process of applying for a beer and wine license and will open for dinner in the near future.
Q. What's the best thing about your job?
A. It's not a job. It's a passion. The best part is sharing my grandmother's food, my grandmother's way of caring about people. I want everyone to feel like family.
Q. What is the best thing about Northeast Cobb?
A. The growth. I remember when the intersection of Shallowford and Sandy Plains was a four-way stop. We went from quiet suburb to a hub of many things, from the Mohawk offices down the street to our school system that has transitioned with the times.
Q. Why did you choose to open your business in Northeast Cobb?
A. It's a hub. This corner sees about 70,000 cars a day. Of course, , my wife and mother's business, being in the same plaza is good for me. I can see them during the day. My parents just live around the corner; my in-laws live just as close but on the opposite side of Sandy Plains.
And, this area has not had a made-to-order, market-to-table restaurant in a really long time.
Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?
A. I've worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and have always wanted my own place.
Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?
A. Catering. Meeting room rentals. We have a drive-thru that you can get to it by turning into Casual Image. We deliver and prepare call-ahead take-out orders.
Q. When did you start your business?
A. September 2011. We survived the road construction. (He smiles.)
Q. How did your business get started?
A. I've been co-owner, front of house partner, in three local restaurants and each time I sold my share I built capital to open this place.
Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?
A. Do your due diligence in your specific field and when you think you have enough money, add six months worth. If it's a food and beverage business get your head checked. (He laughs.) Be prepared for delays. With government budgets being cut, everything is under more scrutiny.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
A. Give us a shot. Let us impress you with what we do and we do everything on the menu well.
Shane Clements, owner
2595 Sandy Plains Rd, Suite 1