Marie Callender’s back in time to carry on tradition

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – In mid-August Marie Callender’s closed its doors. For many community members, this closure rose the question “how will I get my Thanksgiving pies?”

Jim Nelson, Marie Callender’s new owner eliminated that concern by purchasing, renovating and reopening the Marie Callender’s on 3900 South. 

Nelson says his career with Marie Callender’s started over 45 years ago as a high school job. He says the people and family atmosphere has kept him around and that he’s never considered doing anything else. 

When the restaurant closed many employees moved on to other jobs. Nelson says they tried to get many of them back and were able to get most of their managers.

‘We were able to get quite a few back, including the management team. Which was the backbone to this restaurant over the years as it was,” Nelson says.  

“When we closed so many people were devastated…for a long time they kept coming to the door. It was really sad, we would have to tell them we’re not open. They would be really upset and ask if we were coming back…and we didn’t know at the time,” says returning manager Thunder Alexander.

For many, Marie Callender’s pies are a Thanksgiving essential. I asked Nelson what he thought Marie Callender’s meant to people around the holidays and especially Thanksgiving. 

He says their pies are tradition because you get the quality without the headache. 

“Not have to slave in your kitchen to make and bake these things…it’s a lot of work and I think the people who have done it over the years understand that and to be able to just go in and pick one up on the fly. You’re not going to give up any quality,” Nelson says. 

He says they’ve always been a family restaurant and that’s why he wanted to take over. To keep the tradition going. 

“We’ve seen families that I’ve known for years where we’ve gone to their kids, and their grandkids and they’re bringing their kids’, kids in and it’s one generation after another and I hear that all the time,” Nelson adds. 

Nelson and his team want customers to know they are back in business and ready for the Thanksgiving crowds. They recommend getting your pie and feast orders soon and invite all those who need a place to go this Thanksgiving to hear their way.  

To place a Thanksgiving order click here.

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