PILOT POINT — On a recent Friday evening, Lynn Maher spent her time decorating a quinceañera at the Pilot Point Opera House.
On her decorated dinner tables, Maher added a swan made out of watermelon and also placed menu options at each food station. Each menu option was displayed using glass picture frames brought from home.
Maher said she likes to bring extra items, especially from her home, to her caterings. She also brings desserts, which not many catering locations offer, Maher said.
The following day, Maher played host to the quinceañera for more than 200 people. She used a staff of three, counting herself. Her customer, Maria Alcado, the mother of the two daughters who celebrated their 15th birthday, could not be more pleased.
“It all came out well, and it was beautiful,” Alcado said. “People afterwards were asking me who had made the food.”
Alcado said she had driven by Maher’s restaurant called Scrumptious of Highway 377, but she was unaware she catered events.
Another client, Cybil Grigsby, who used Maher to help cater her daughter Zoe’s sixth birthday last month, said she liked that Maher was accommodating and had a great idea for a tea-party theme.
“Each little girl had an apron, they got to make their own sandwiches, and she had hats for them to wear,” she said. “They also had their own place setting with tea cups.”
Getting a start
In 2009, just two weeks after her husband passed away from prostate cancer, Maher said she was unsure of what she could do.
She had been married for 44 years and one of the many discussions she had her with her husband was about opening a business.
“It was our dream to open the restaurant,” she said. “I wanted to follow up with what my husband wanted.”
The name for her place, which sits on a three-acre lot, was inspired by a board member of the Dallas Symphony, where she has volunteered since her husband’s death.
“I had made a scone and added something new to it like lemon curd,” she said. “I brought it out and one woman said it was ‘scrumptious,’ so that is how we got the name. She hired me as a caterer [for the group’s meetings].”
Maher now serves as the program co-chairwoman of the Innovators of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, which provides education and community outreach, according to its website.
She volunteers, runs her restaurant, offers the catering service and also manages an RV park and boat storage and has offices to lease as well. As of a few weeks ago, she is one of the team hostesses at WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma.
“I am not busy enough,” she said calling herself “an Energizer bunny.”
What makes her restaurant unique is that Maher decided to have flexible hours.
“Anytime they want, any day, I can cook,” she said. “I just need them to call me.
Scrumptious serves a wide array of dishes, using organic ingredients to create them. Maher chooses the ingredients very carefully and shies away from non-organic menu items.
“My food is 100 percent organic. When you taste my food, you taste the difference, you can smell the difference,” she said.
Some of the items she serves at the restaurant include chicken Marsala, ribs and old-fashioned fried steak, but Maher does not have a set menu. This allows her to make her business more custom.
One of her clients, Linda Watkins, describes Maher as a private chef.
“She is almost always available for breakfast and lunch and dinner when you call in advance — she can prepare things for you,” she said.
Watkins said she considers Maher’s business to be unique and different to the Pilot Point community.
“We think she is pretty special in the area,” she said. “She has tried a bunch of different things through suggestions [from customers], but I keep on telling her to stick to what she does best and this is it.”
One of the things customers cannot stop talking about is Maher’s pies.
Fred Henley and his wife, Judy, live in Allen and said they stop by the restaurant whenever they drive on U.S. Highway 377.
Fred Henley said he tries anything Maher prepares at the restaurant, especially her coconut cream pies.
“It has probably been two months since I found it [the restaurant],” he said. “She has a fantastic operation, and her pies are out of this world.”
Loving what she does
Maher, a graduate of Boston University, said she loves to cook.
“I love for people to come to me for their catering and to make it custom,” she said.
She said she fell in love with food while on a trip to Costa Rica.
“They sell everything that is natural and organic,” Maher said.
Now she offers her love of food and day-to-day business from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
She accepts orders at almost any hour of the day, as long as customers call ahead.
“You have to continuously think outside of the box,” she said.
Staff writer Karina Ramírez contributed to this report.
Dennis Barbee and Brieanna Casey are students at Texas Woman’s University and part of The Lasso staff, the student-run newspaper.
2306 U.S. Highway 377, Pilot Point