Sigourney Café continuing to grow around Iowa

Cafe owner Toby Garcia-Romero has recently implemented the sale of his homemade salsa, which is completely made in-house. Romero-Garcia first started jarring his salsa's back in the fall of 2017 and continues to make new batches to sell when needed. The salsa is just one thing that keeps customers coming back, whether they're regulars or not.

The Sigourney Café has been acknowledged and joined distinctive lists for its great food, that comes as no surprise to any Sigourney resident. The most recent acknowledgment may very well be the best yet, the Café made a list of “Iowa’s 99 must try restaurants” which featured one restaurant per county. They were selected by Travel Iowa and the name appeared in the Des Moines Register, which listed all 99.

                In addition to the recent distinction, the Café was also named in the top 10 of place to get an omelet in the state of Iowa.

                “Since those articles came out we have received some requests of people that go out and try all 99 restaurants in the state,” head waitress Kris McHugh said. “It’s nice to hear people choose to go out of their way to try something new, that’s affected us for sure.”

                The Sigourney Café aims to put its customers first and one fall day in 2017, they decided to try and jar and sell the ever-popular salsa made in-house. Customers had been requesting it to go on a variety of menu items and it was so popular that management thought people might want to buy it in jars to take home. They were right, the salsa jars seemingly left the restaurant as soon as they were filled, which kept the Café owner and salsa chef Toby Garcia-Romero busy.

                “We have a lot of comments on the salsa, people talk about it in the town and that’s why we keep doing it,” Garcia-Romero said. “When we started we went through a lot of jars and now we sell six or seven per week.”

                Garcia-Romero used to make different variations, such as hot and mild, of his salsa to sell, now he focuses on making one batch of one kind before making a separate batch at the same time.

                “We have a super big base of regulars who support the Café 100 percent,” McHugh said. “It’s nice to have options here since we have deep fried foods and gravy, we counter that with a fresh fruit plate option.”

                Everything served at the Café is made from scratch which can vary from an omelet to homemade gravy to apply to biscuits. The fact its fresh product is a reason in itself that people love the Café and talk about it throughout the town. One big event that management is eagerly looking forward to is RAGBRAI, which will roll through and stay the night in Sigourney on July 26.

                “Two years ago, we were late to the game,” McHugh said on the riders stopping through in 2016. “Now we have more communication online and we’re also part of the RAGBRAI Sigourney community and things like that. We’re ready for the insanity and chaos.”

                Residents will be doing their part to get the riders to come visit the Café, posting signs and such in their yard which will point down Highway 92 to the Café.

                Despite the recognitions, the staff still keeps things low-key by staying humble about the recent success and stick to their great customer service, as they have for many years.

                “I didn’t know about us getting in the Des Moines Register and Travel Iowa until five or six customers showed me,” McHugh said. “The best thing is we’re not going out of our way to make it happen, it’s coming to us.”