Grandmother, granddaughter writing Columbus history one recipe at a time

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Grandmother, granddaughter writing Columbus history one recipe at a time

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— The namesake of a popular eatery that has fed folks in the Fountain City for nearly four decades has decided to take its legacy digital.

Minnie Hanneman Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant in 1986 at the corner of First Avenue and Eighth Street.

“Oh my goodness. If you would have seen that restaurant, you would never have opened it,” said Minnie. “It was quite a job. But afterwards, it was worth the effort because the people started coming in and they were so happy to have a place to eat, and good food to eat. So that started me out.

In the once dirt-floor grocery store, she shared her love for cooking and baking with generations of families. Over the years, the business and the memories that came with it were passed down to her daughter Rose, and now granddaughter Melinda Newton. Melinda now owns Minnie’s Uptown Restaurant and the Chicken Lady’s Coop.

Earlier this month, Minnie was moved into assisted living. When helping decide what items and keepsakes would move with her, Melinda came across all of Minnie’s handwritten recipes.

The two decided to continue her legacy on social media, hand-picking recipes to share daily.

“I started the Facebook page, and she knows a little bit about Facebook from watching Minnie’s Restaurant on Facebook,” Melinda said. “So, I showed her what I did, and I was like, ‘What do you think about this? We named it many recipes and memories,’ and she smiled and closed her hands in front of her and she said, ‘what an honor that people would want to see my recipes.'”

In about two weeks the facebook page has already garnered more than a thousand followers. Melinda says the page has already created an online community of people joining together to celebrate Minnie’s legacy.

“Every time she starts going through these, and then when she sees the wedding cake book, it reminds her of the memories of when she decorated wedding cakes for all of the brides in Columbus,” Melinda said. “She starts reminiscing on all of those stories, and then the families are involved in it. They’ll post on the page how Minnie stayed up all night long, baking cakes throughout the night, so that the wedding cake was fresh when it was delivered the next day. So, there’s a lot of fun stuff that is coming from this.”

The discovery of the handwritten recipes has also stirred up several community efforts in honoring Minnie. The Columbus Public Library is working with Melinda on preserving some of Minnie’s recipes in their local history exhibit. Meanwhile, students at Columbus State University have started filming a documentary on Minnie and the history of the restaurant that continues to feed the Fountain City.

“To all of the people that continue to eat at Minnie’s, I give them thanks,” said Minnie.

Minnie says by sharing her recipes online, she hopes the social media page will inspire others to pursue their passions just like she has. Or just to learn a few new tricks in the kitchen.

“I’m trying to get it out there to the young people that they have to start somewhere.”

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