Chicken salad, apple creek club, French dip sandwich, turkey bacon wrap, lemon & strawberry cookies, and a slice of pie. If your mouth isn’t watering after that tasty list, you might be ill. Cross Creek Sandwich Shop is perfection, and it’s right here in downtown Conway.
I had the chance to sit down with Chris Jennings, the shop’s owner. Here is a little Q & A from our meeting:
Homeward: Why is Cross Creek in an antique store?
Chris: That’s easy! Antiques and food are probably my two favorite things. I used to always shop here at Jenifer’s Antiques and I love anything old. When I was interested in starting a sandwich shop, I thought it would be fun to be with someone else, especially someone who was already established. When I was thinking about where to go, my first thought was to talk to Jenifer. I spoke to my husband about it and was unsure about how to ask someone about putting a sandwich shop in their business. My husband and I were shopping in the store around Christmastime about 8 years ago and I was going to try and approach her about it. When we were walking around shopping, I overheard her talking to someone about wanting to put a sandwich shop in her store, but she didn’t know anyone to run it. I went around the corner and told her I was eavesdropping and said I was wanting to talk to you about that actually. I started bringing her samples of food and she shared ideas with me on how she wanted it to feel and look. So we put our ideas together and this is what we came up with. We started out small, with six little tables, and as we started to grow we expanded to what it is today.
Homeward: It’s my last meal. I can only order one thing off the menu, what is it?
Chris: Our best seller is chicken salad, but my favorite sandwich is probably the apple creek club. It’s kind of different because of course it has apples on it. I saw something similar in a magazine one time, and we created our own version with a twist on it. We make our own honey-dijon spread, and then we put apples and cheddar cheese, bacon and a thin slice of turkey on toasted wheat bread.
Homeward: What about the bacon ranch dip? Is there a secret to that?
Chris: You know, I just didn’t want to have just chips on a plate, cause I am a chip and dip kind of person- whether it’s salsa and chips, or cheese dip. When we were trying to figure out what to have with it, I tried a lot of different dips, and that was the one that we all decided, yum, that one is pretty good. I did a lot of research before we opened in recipe books, etc. and I just decided that one is something a little different that other places don’t do- serving a little dip with the chip.
Homeward: Well, that’s my personal favorite. I LOVE it! Who is the most interesting client you have ever served? Or have you had an interesting client?
Chris: Well, after Kris Allen won American Idol, he came in and customers were texting other people saying, “Kris Allen is here, Kris Allen is here!” So, we were trying our best to leave him alone and let him enjoy his lunch. And then when he was done, the gloves were off and everyone wanted a picture and his autograph. It was just kind of a fun day and he was so kind to everybody too. He let us take pictures, he signed one of our menus, it was just a fun thing.
Homeward: What do you want people to know about Cross Creek?
Chris: I just want them to be able to come in here and be able to feel at home, relax and have their lunch and enjoy it. I want them to still be able to come in during their lunch hour, get your food quick enough that you can have that time to sit and eat. We have girlfriends that come in here and they will linger the whole entire time we’re open sometimes, which that makes me feel good. I like that people can come in and enjoy it. We get business meetings in here too. Some people need a quiet spot they can go and just talk to someone one on one. I just want them to feel at home.
Homeward: What’s one of your favorite things about being downtown?
Chris: Downtown is so exciting! Over the course of eight years, I’ve seen a lot of businesses kind of come and go, and come and stay. There has been a lot of new restaurants, which I love! I consider everything friendly competition. We help each other out. The more that’s downtown, the more people come, so that’s just good for everybody. I love all of the businesses downtown, it’s great!
Follow Cross Creek on Facebook and check out their menu here. Then head into their shop Feb. 7th for a FREE cookie on Homeward Realty. Just purchase your lunch, and the cookie is on us. (to the first 48 lucky customers)