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Opening a cafe has been a dream

By Staff | Nov 16, 2018

Shannon Hayden stands at the counter of the Yellow Cup Cafe. Hayden opened the restaurant in Sept.



STORY CITY – Shannon Hayden loves to cook with new recipes, especially those that have been passed down to her by previous generations.

She is also a self-described “cook book hoarder.”

“I love to look at recipes and try new recipes. I use my family as my taste testers,” Hayden said. “If my family gives it the thumbs up, I note ‘Yum-o’ on the recipe with the date. If they don’t like it, I’ll document their comments. Did it need a different seasoning or a sauce?”

Slices of egg bake, as well as sandwiches and pies fill the display case at The Yellow Cafe in Story City.

Hayden recently translated that love of cooking into her own business, the Yellow Cup Cafe, which opened for business in September.

It’s located in Story City, located in northern Story County, at 601 Broad St.

Her child actually inspired the name.

“Our daughter Ellie’s favorite color has been yellow since she was a toddler,” Hayden said. “When we were first talking about opening our cafe, discussing the name, ‘The Yellow Cup Cafe’ just rolled off my tongue. So, the Yellow Cup Cafe it is.”

Bright yellow mugs accent the grey and black furniture in the corner business. Located right on the main street in Story City, one cannot miss the cafe.

Shannon Hayden brings yellow cups of coffee to a regular card playing group of ladies. “We can’t walk too far and this is perfect for us!” share the ladies who meet every week to chat and play

Hayden said Story County has been welcoming to her and her family.

“We left a busy life in California for a quaint town to raise our children and we have never looked back.,” she said. “From a business owner standpoint, we feel fortunate to make this dream come true in Story City.”

The menu has a variety of options.

“The most important item we offer is our farm to table concept,” Hayden said. “Homemade soups and desserts. We pride ourselves in offering meat, eggs, and produce from local sources. We love creating business partnerships that have turned into personal relationships with local farmers.”

Groceries are supplied by area small businesses, including Red Granite Farm and the Story City Locker.

Hayden said she enjoys interacting with her customers.

“I love pulling up a seat and personally knowing who comes into our cafe,” she said. “We have regular groups who come and play cards every week.”

The cafe is already make plans for different events, including Ladies’ Night at the Cup, Cards at the Cup, and other seasonal events.

“We offer cookie and treat boxes throughout the holiday season as well,” Hayden added. “We offer whole pies for purchase with 48 hours notice. And we can also rent our facility out for private events. We want to treat customers like we’ve been treated in Story City – welcomed.”

Bacon and egg bake

9 bacon strips, chopped

9 eggs, beaten

3 cups 2 percent milk

3/4 cup baking mix

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large onion, chopped

1 large sweet red pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to drain on paper towels.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk and baking mix. Stir in the cooled bacon, cheese, onion, red pepper, salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into a greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish.

Bake at preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Makes 8 servings

Slow cooker broccoli cheese soup

1 pound frozen broccoli florets

1 medium onion, diced

2 whole carrots, finely diced

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cans cream of celery soup

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 pounds Velveeta

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Add broccoli, onion, carrots, chicken broth, cream of celery soup, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to the slow cooker. Stir, place on the lid, and set the cooker on high for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, use an immersion blender or masher to puree 3/4 of the soup. (If you use a regular blender, blend only 1 cup at a time. Use caution, as it is hot.) Return blend to the cooker. Add the cheeses, turn the slow cooker to low, and place on the lid for 15-30 minutes.

Stir to melt the cheese and mix it in. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Serve warm. Soup keeps great in the fridge for a couple of days.

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