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Business Spotlight: Comfort Food Served Up Daily at Apple Dumplin

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By Carlee Frank

We’ve all been there –we’ve craved homemade comfort food but haven’t wanted to make it ourselves. Well, we’re in luck –Apple Dumplin located at 521 South Cascade Drive in Springville is just the place to satisfy those cravings.

Originally opened in 1995 by the Walczak family, Apple Dumplin was purchased by the current owner, Judy Ball, in 2005.

“I had been working in the restaurant business for 20 years before that, so I thought it was time to try it on my own,” Ball said.

Since then, she said Apple Dumplin has gained many new customers and has grown every year. It is a favorite breakfast and lunch spot for locals and travelers alike. The restaurant’s location is just off of the Route 219 expressway, and before the Ellicottville ski resorts, which brings in many out of state visitors and, Ball noted, many customers from Canada. The Microtel Inn & Suites on Cascade also recommends hotel residents visit Apple Dumplin, so she has even met customers from around the world.

“We’ve had people from Russia and some from Italy –we’ve had people from all over,” Ball said.

The atmosphere, food and service are equally important at Apple Dumplin. She said the food is homemade comfort food such as such as meatloaf, roast beef, turkey and hearty breakfasts. She said breakfast is one of the busiest times at the restaurant; they serve omelets, pancakes, bacon and many more mouthwatering options. Apple Dumplin also has daily specials based on chef’s choice.

For customers suffering from Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, Apple Dumplin serves many gluten free dishes such as waffles and pancakes for breakfast; lasagna, ravioli and gluten free soups; and bread pudding and chocolate cake for dessert.

“There is such a demand for it now, and so many people here are gluten free, and we want to be able to serve them,” Ball said.

This year, Apple Dumplin may undergo a bit of a change. Ball mentioned that she is considering installing outdoor seating to the restaurant—if it is a wise business decision. While the project is not in motion yet, it would be a nice way to enjoy time outside with friends and family.

While Ball said she had business experience prior to owning Apple Dumplin — because she managed ordering, scheduling and much more at her previous place of employment —she still had nerves when the restaurant first opened.

“I just wondered if I had made a mistake because it was so slow at first –but I definitely didn’t make a mistake,” Ball said.

Many customers from the restaurant she previously worked at, as well as long time Apple Dumplin customers, came with her when she took ownership. She said her customers are very friendly and appreciative, which makes owning a restaurant in a small town very rewarding. They also have many regulars who come in every week, and sometimes multiple times a week.

Not only are the customers very committed to the restaurant, but so is the staff.

“Everyone that works here is like a family,” Ball said. “We might not be biologically related, but it’s like a family.”

Apple Dumplin also sells wares for local vendors, such as patterned plastic grocery bag holders made by one of her employees. They also sell local pure syrup —one brand from a local family and another from the Jones family who supplies to the restaurant. However, they also offer imitation syrup.

“Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t like pure syrup, so we have both options,” Ball said.

If you’re in the mood for pancakes and syrup, or just want to eat homemade comfort food in a cozy environment, stop by Apple Dumplin.

They are opened Tuesday-Sunday at 7 a.m., and close at 4 p.m. every day but Friday when they close at 7:30 p.m.

For more information check out their Facebook page.

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