By JOHN T. WARD
“Oh no, what will we do?” said Marian Wattenbarger of Fair Haven, when she heard the news while ordering quiche Tuesday. “Whenever I don’t feel like cooking, I come to see Pat.”
“Pat” is owner Patricia Mink, who plans to hang up her apron and turn off the lights for the last time on October 29.
Mink was working as a social worker in Washington, D.C. when she decided she wanted to go to culinary school — not to become a restaurant chef, but to do what she ended up doing for the last three decades: operate a takeout and catering business.
Savoury Fare opened in June, 1985. And from her small shop facing Crazee’s and the Oceanic Bridge, Mink, of Middletown, has become knit into the lives of several generations of hungry area residents, one serving of chicken soup or pecan pork chop at a time.
“Some of my customers have been coming in the whole time I’ve been open,” she said Tuesday, while simultaneously making soup and black-bean burgers. “I’ve seen their kids grow up and have kids. I have a history with these people, and it’s a nice feeling to know you’ve touched people.”
Though she had help until six years ago from her now-92-year-old mother, Elinor Mink, Savoury Fare has largely been “a mom-and-pop where I’m the mom and the pop,” said Mink.
“I don’t even know what I’m going to do yet,” she told a customer. “Maybe get a dog.”
On further reflection, she said, “I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be. But it’s time for something new.”
Mink is selling her kitchen equipment, but not the business name, and certainly not her recipes, just in case she decides to get back into the game someday, she said.
The space, at 3 West River Road, is owned by the Mulheren family.