Martha is the youngest in a family of 13 siblings. She has lived in Murray Kentucky for most of her adult life; now residing with Kenny and their son Colby, she's known to some around town for her big heart and to others for her quick wit and sassy personality.
The story Martha's sister Mary Jo wrote tells it best how Martha became the owner of the most talked about restaurant in Murray Kentucky.
Martha began her employment when she was 12-years-old. At that early age, she earned a reputation for her integrity, for being courteous, reliable, efficient, and spunky. Her first job was gathering eggs at a chicken farm. She often worked long hours if that’s what it took to get the job done. Then she got into the restaurant business where she started by sweeping floors in a hotel-restaurant
near Kissimmee, Florida. Then she continued as dishwasher, hostess, cashier, cook, and then as waitress. As time passed on, it was restaurants where she worked most of her jobs, as server.
One day after working the “life span” of numerous restaurants around town, Martha came home from work and said, “I want to open my own restaurant.” We were nervous about the idea at first, given the fact that statistically, the vast majority of independent restaurants go out of business their first year. However, that didn't deter Martha from driving toward her goal. So, we spent the next few years watching her, saving and working toward her goal. She was getting ready for the first opportunity that would come. She had the hands on experience as a server now she would observe the other many duties of owning a restaurant business. She knew she could do it all.
One day late December, Martha learned of a small restaurant that was closing its doors but was
looking to rent the building. She grabbed onto that and branched out on her own. With help and
support from family and friends she was able to pull it off like a pro. One of the duties she feared the most at first was learning the strategy of maintaining the right level of food supplies. It was her long time friend, Gene Higdon, that stepped in and offered assistance. With Gene’s help, she got right past that and moved on to other things.
While Martha appreciated the small restaurant at first, it soon became evident that she would need
more seating space. It was time to move forward. So during the many years she was waitress in
numerous restaurants around town, she developed a lot of regular customers and a good reputation for her great service, humor, conscientiousness, and caring personality. This undoubtedly carried over to her “new business.” As business grew, she found it more and more necessary that she find a “new home” with more seating. It was about then when the next opportunity arose. In March 1989 she learned of a local restaurant building that had become available. It had been occupied by numerous entrepreneurs without success. She was given the option of renting to own.
That was just what Martha was looking for. She moved to this location in May of 1989 and that is
where her business now resides. As I write this, it’s hard to believe that Martha’s Restaurant is almost entering its 23rd year in business. During those many years, she’s been so privileged to have some of the best customers and employees in the world. She feels so “thankful to be a part of their lives.”
If you’re a regular customer reading this, Martha would like to say an “appreciative thank you for your business.” If you’re a new customer, she would like to say “Thanks for stopping in. And to my
employees,” Martha says, “Thank you so much for your contribution – it could not be done without
Mary Jo Farris