Rubio names Two Peas Cafe as Senate Small Business of the Week

LABELLE — Two Peas Cafe, at 870 W. Hickpochee Ave., Suite 500, is owned and operated by two of the best known, most experienced names in LaBelle’s restaurants. Debbie Burchard Klemmer and Vicki Reynolds “grew up” together in the restaurant business at Flora & Ella’s, forming a strong friendship along the way. It was LaBelle’s legendary Ella Burchard who dubbed them “Two Peas in a Pod” because they were so close, they even got into trouble together.

On morning in 2012, Vicki woke up with the clear idea for Two Peas. She had planned to move to Texas, but the clarity of her idea changed her mind. She talked to Debbie and soon the concept took shape. The duo decided to open a Southern-style cafe, serving those mouthwatering selections like they did when they worked together at Flora & Ella’s.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Debbie Burchard Klemmer (right) and Vicki Reynolds (left) are the proud owners of Two Peas Cafe in LaBelle.

It came as a complete surprise to both Debbie and Vicki that their hard work in making a name for their business had reached the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday morning, June 19, when they opened the company’s email for the day, they got the following press release from the office of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:
This week, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, named Two Peas Cafe of LaBelle, Fla., as the U.S. Senate Small Business of the Week.
“As chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, it is my pleasure to honor Two Peas Cafe of LaBelle, as the Senate Small Business of the Week.

“Growing up in LaBelle, childhood friends Deborah Klemmer and Vicki Reynold worked for Deborah’s grandmother, Ella, in her restaurant Flora & Ella’s. After Flora & Ella’s closed in March 2011, Deborah and Vicki were determined to carry on her legacy, and they founded Two Peas Cafe in August 2013.

“Two Peas Cafe carries on the tradition of Flora & Ella’s famous homemade pies, as well as their original Southern-style recipes. In addition to being a community staple, Two Peas Cafe is dedicated to giving back to their community.

“Deborah and Vicki recently organized a Relay for Life team to raise money for the American Cancer Society. At the LaBelle Relay for Life event this past March, the Two Peas Cafe team raised more than $20,000 and they placed second in the race!

“Deborah, Vicki, and the entire team at Two Peas Cafe demonstrate the tremendous power of determination and community involvement and serve as a great example to us all. And so I am proud to honor Two Peas Cafe as the Senate Small Business of the Week.”

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Sen. Rubio continues the tradition of honoring America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America’s small businesses.

Sen. Rubio also released a video message to congratulate Two Peas Cafe as the Senate Small Business of the Week, and it can be viewed at https://twitter.com/SmallBizCmte/status/1141383937094275073

Only one business is chosen from the entire country each week to receive this honor.

The duo opened their Two Peas Cafe with just 24 seats and within six months expanded to 70. Two Peas opened their doors with just four employees. Now there are 10, and they consider each other family.

Debbie continues to delight taste buds with Granny Ella’s pies after adding her own twist to her grandmother’s pie recipe. Debbie is also the homemade soup maker.

The Cafe offers great LaBelle favorites like fried green tomatoes and what they call the “Original Burger” topped with slaw — delicious flavors LaBelle folks have cherished over the years — with a bit of twist.

Vicki specializes in cakes — fresh coconut cake, chocolate coconut and pineapple coconut cake, and her coveted Giant Ding Dong Cake. Vicki has her hands in many projects throughout the community, but her passion is Relay for Life. “I am the event lead for LaBelle’s relay and have been for the past three years. Relay is very personal to me and I am at times very consumed by it,” she said. In 2019 the Relay for Life Teams under her guidance raised around $58,000, she has already committed herself to the 2020 season, saying she will take a little breather and then go head first into getting teams together in early July.

Most of the time you’ll find Debbie in the kitchen while Vicki caters to the customers. Both women agree that they’re fortunate to have the employees they do and want them to feel good about what they do and “take ownership” of their jobs.

Breakfast and lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday. On Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, look for the hot lunch specials and soup; Saturdays are so busy they serve breakfast and the regular lunch menu only. The restaurant is open 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., breakfast is served till 11 a.m.; lunch from 11 to 2. They close for Sundays and also on Mondays to thoroughly clean the place.

You can like them on Facebook (along with 1,100 other followers) and see their daily specials.

Two Peas will be closed for renovations and a vacation July 1-30.

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