Joe Momma’s Kitchen opening

Mya Sauls, left, and her father Eric, clean the floors at Joe Momma’s as they prepare to open the new restaurant by the end of the month. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

MARIETTA — After building a community-minded food mission, Joe Momma’s is expanding from take out and delivery lunches to a full restaurant space.

“We were in Oak Grove for four years,” said Sarah Sauls, who with her husband Eric has built the business from the small kitchen of Oak Grove Christian School into a catering service and reliable lunch staple for many. “But we kept hearing people say they want a place to come and see us and sit down and so we looked at a few places and this felt like our spot.”

The couple moved its business into the Frontier Shopping Center, owned by the Christy family, and taken on the space housed by 134 Bistro until that restaurant closed last winter. The site will offer wraps, sandwiches, salads, pulled pork and more.

Now they’re expanding their offerings, and have doubled the seating in the space.

“We can seat 37 now,” said Sarah, showing off not only bench seating along the righthand wall, but a window seat at the front of the space and a new bar facing the sports television and kitchen. “Plus there’s overflow space that we’ll not only use for the Sunday brunch buffet but can also rent out for parties and meetings.”

With the move comes the new tagline, “Food with a Purpose” and a new logo to match the expansion.

And though the couple are no longer making the warm lunches for the school, they will still be delivering lunch now not only to Oak Grove residents, but those in the city as well.

“And we’re going to be open for dinner and we’re still going to be giving our tips to different charitable organizations each month,” said Sarah. “We’ve really focused on that community aspect and want to keep it.”

The school lunches will be taken on by a previous catering employee with similar food items as before.

Eric said he’s excited to be cooking in a kitchen three times the size of the previous one, and getting to interact more with customers.

“When you’re just delivery and take out there’s no place to talk and see the people,” he said. “I have a bunch of buddies though that are all the time on the road and could come in and sit at the bar and watch the game and we can chat while I’m working.”

The couple’s oldest child, Mya, 18, said she is also excited to have the location near the new gym in the shopping center, Movement Fitness.

“We’ve expanded the salads and healthy options and hopefully they’ll want to come down here before or after their workouts,” she said.

Still to come before the end of the month opening, a mural of Marietta to be painted on the left wall and three boards telling customers where tips are going each month, what the specials are and hosting a community notice board.

“And then there will be “Yo Momma” jokes on the other wall and the bathrooms will be (identified) through Joe’s and Momma’s,” Sarah said, laughing.

The pair have also added a few of the beloved specials to the daily menu of burritos, wraps, and sandwiches.

“Now we’ll also have pulled pork every day and baked potatoes,” Sarah said. “And we’re putting in our own smoker in the back so we’ll have that ready and fresh everyday. We’re excited, proud and terrified all at the same time.”

Other classics like the Mamma Mia calzone, the Gone Nutty (pulled turkey with cream cheese and sunflower mayo), and the buffalo chicken roll ups will also all be on the menu.

Sarah said they hope to be open by the end of July.

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