Pandemic sped up plans for Mt. Tabor

Mt. Tabor Manna opened sooner than anticipated -- during the pandemic.
Mt. Tabor Manna opened sooner than anticipated -- during the pandemic.

On a back street in Tabor City sits a small, local secret — a family-operated café called Mt. Tabor Manna. 

The cozy little nook sits just behind the post office, a short drive down Orange Street. Most locals know about the cafe, but if you haven’t had one of their breakfast burritos, Cuban or cheese steak wraps, chicken bacon melt or chicken salad croissants, you are missing out. 

Eric and Faith Batchelder first started out four years ago when they opened a food truck, Mt. Tabor Manna’s “Chef in a Truck”. It was one of the first official food trucks to come to Tabor City. 

“Because of the numerous other food trucks that started to set up in Tabor,” says Faith Batchelder. “We were not able to afford to run the food truck any longer. We had already had a plan for the café, so we moved forward with it. 

“We wanted to open in March of 2020, but as you know, COVID came along, so come September we figured we would take the leap. We’ve had almost five years altogether.”

Faith and Eric run the café together. Eric does most of the cooking, while Faith takes care of waiting on customers. 

“Eric received his culinary degree in 1996,” states Faith. “But he had been cooking for years before that.” 

She started as a cashier for Quincy’s family steak house at 17 and went into management after a few years. She’s been in restaurant management for nearly 20 years since. 

“It was time to work that hard for ourselves instead of someone else,” says Faith. She and Eric both look forward to the day that they are so busy they need to hire help. 

For now, the couple are keeping the food light with several breakfast sandwiches and grits bowls, along with soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. They run a hot plate special every now and then. They have coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, and iced coffees for those hot summer days to come, along with freshly squeezed lemonades in different flavors.  

      While Mt. Tabor Manna is not yet a full-service restaurant, the couple still welcomes dine-ins. 

“We have fallen in Love with Tabor City,” Faith said. “We look forward to raising our daughter, Abi, here. We have been blessed in more ways than one and are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the community.” 

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