If you live in or around Ellis County, chances are you have been to or heard of The Dove’s Nest. Located just one street south of the historic Ellis County Courthouse in downtown Waxahachie, the restaurant welcomes guests week in and week out from across the area.

Owned by Andrew and Cindy Burch, The Dove’s Nest’s charm and inviting atmosphere, mixed with delicious food, make for a great shopping and dining experience.

Ellis DownHome recently sat down with Cindy, who provided a look back over their years here and what they hope for the future of this beloved restaurant.

25 years! Wow! When you sit and reflect on that span of time and all that y’all have done, what are your main thoughts? What makes you the most proud of an accomplishment like this?

It is very rewarding to be an anchor business in our beautiful downtown. The sheer sustainability is certainly a big accomplishment, especially in the restaurant business. We have been very fortunate to have employees who have been with us for years. I also think, when you consistently put out a good product and offer good service, you will have good return business.

When you think of serving and knowing the people of Waxahachie and beyond but mostly the locals, what thoughts come to mind as you think of these years y’all have been here in one special place?

What I love the most about this business are our loyal and wonderful customers who, over the years, have become like family to us. We have watched multiple generations grow up shopping and dining with us. Grandparents, their children and now their grandchildren share with us daily what a special place they feel this is. I love hearing their stories about how a certain Christmas gift or dining event at Dove’s Nest is a favorite family memory. We have had the opportunity over the years to cater many rehearsal dinners and weddings, milestone birthdays, fundraisers and corporate events for so many residents in Waxahachie. We are honored to be a go-to place for special celebrations and humbled to be the place many call when a loved one passes away and wants us to cater a celebration of life reception.

What have been some of the struggles over the years and how did y’all overcome them?

It is always a challenge to find new and different merchandise for our store that other retailers don’t have. More so than ever we struggle with online competition and big box stores. The key element seems to be giving customers a shopping experience. The combination of a store and restaurant together has been the answer for us. Each one feeds off of the other. People also enjoy coming to a historic town and absorbing the history and beauty of our courthouse that a strip mall can’t offer.

What are some of the highlights and best times you have had in running this business?

For me, personally, it is the big catering events. So much effort goes into a production like the annual CNB of Texas Christmas party or Navarro College’s annual Brilliance fundraiser. There are so many details and moving parts to catering an event for hundreds of people but I thrive on the planning process and seeing it all come together from table décor to the food presentation. I also love the changing of seasons in our store, especially when we put up all of the Christmas trees and get the store decked out for the holidays.

When you think of the future of The Dove’s Nest, what are things you’d like to see happen for y’all?

We are excited about the growth we are experiencing in Waxahachie and the revitalization of our downtown over the last few years. We welcome more and more businesses, shops and restaurants. We would love to open in the evenings as well as Sunday brunch. Unfortunately, we have had a hard time finding kitchen help to take on the added shifts but hopefully we will be able to do that soon.

If there’s anything you’d like to say to the people of Ellis County, what would it be?

There has been a sign hanging above our kitchen door from the first day we opened. It reads HE IS LORD. My mother painted it on a piece of old barnwood she found many years ago on a farm we owned in Waxahachie. Never in 25 years has that sign come down and I fully believe God has blessed us because of it. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a Dove’s Nest customer and friend. We love you and appreciate your continued patronage. Supporting small businesses in our community is vital to our downtown. Please continue to shop and dine local and we hope to see you soon at Dove’s Nest.

The Dove’s Nest celebrates its 25th birthday from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. The community is invited to stop by and enjoy the festivities, which include several trunk showings, cookbook signings, music and hors d’oeuvres.

Ellisdownhome.com was created to provide a place for residents to share life – their thoughts, experiences and skills along a neighbor-to-neighbor backyard fence that stretches 952 square miles of the county. Visit Ellis DownHome online at www.ellisdownhome.com.

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