A Pinch of Love

A new family-run cafe opens in Fort Dodge

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Angie Reiter, co-owner of A Pinch of Love Cafe, seasons a hamburger for the daily special chili cheeseburger.

Two sisters with a passion for cooking have teamed up to open Fort Dodge’s newest cafe.

A Pinch of Love Cafe, located at 850 S. 18th St., opened just over two weeks ago.

Sisters Crystal Mikesell-Lowrey and Angie Reiter opened the restaurant after a lifelong passion of cooking.

A late aunt inspired the name, according to Mikesell-Lowrey.

“We would always try to get recipes from her and they wouldn’t turn out right,” she said. “So we would ask her, ‘What the heck? Are you not telling us an ingredient or what?'”

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari A Pinch of Love Cafe owners Angie Reiter, left, and Crystal Mikesell-Lowrey, pose with one of their daily specials, a chili cheesburger, recently. The two recently opened the cafe, which is entire family-run.

Their aunt’s reply would always be, “Did you add a pinch of love?”

“That was always her comeback for it,” Mikesell-Lowrey said.

Reiter said she and her sister have wanted to open their own restaurant for awhile.

“It’s always been a dream,” she said.

While this is the first restaurant the sisters have worked in, both have a passion for cooking, according to Mikesell-Lowrey.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Angie Reiter, right, co-owner of A Pinch of Love Cafe, stirs the chili for the daily special chili cheeseburger as co-owner Crystal Mikesell-Lowrey looks on.

“But we always cook at home,” she said. “We make huge meals and everybody loves our cooking. It’s kind of a passion. We love to cook.”

The menu at the cafe is diverse.

“Right now we have coneys, of course,” Reiter said. “They’re amazing. And we have cheeseburgers.”

“Walking tacos, chicken wings, chicken strips,” Mikesell-Lowrey added.

Eventually, she said the cafe plans on selling homemade specials, which include “homemade enchiladas and chicken noodles over mashed potatoes.”

Reiter said they sell one homemade menu item already, and it’s proven popular.

“We have homemade onion rings,” she said. “Everybody’s raving about them.”

The sisters said that the work of the cafe involves more than just the two of them; their entire family has gotten involved.

“Our mom has helped tremendously,” Mikesell-Lowrey said. “Our husbands have helped tremendously. Our kids and the community. They have been so supportive to us.”

Although the restaurant has only been in business for two weeks, they are already receiving positive reviews, she said.

“Everybody that comes in is so kind and gives great feedback,” she said. “We love that.”

Reiter said opening A Pinch of Love Cafe is a dream come true for her and her sister.

She looks forward to “having people to be able to come in and get our food,” as well as “being able to cook, fulfill our dreams.”