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Master Chef closing

PULASKI — A piece of Pulaski’s history will close June 28 when Master Chef shuts its doors after 40 years in business.
Kenneth and Sandy Wyatt, who have owned the restaurant for the past decade, said the economy and the increasing cost of supplies is what prompted them to make the decision to close the restaurant.
Sandy estimated overhead has increased by at least 25 percent, but Kenneth said it is more like 40 percent.
“Our suppliers keep telling us we need to go up on our prices, but we didn’t want to do that to our customers,” Kenneth said, noting that most of their customers are regulars and that many are on fixed incomes.
“We really worry about our customers,” Kenneth said. “It’s not like a business, it’s like a family.”
While they will miss those customers and their nine employees, Sandy said the closing is bittersweet because “I believe we’re all being promoted” to better things.
The Wyatts said their only plans at this point are to “follow Jesus and see where he leads us.”
She said the “greatest thing” about the restaurant is the way she saw “God working in it. It was food for the soul and body.”
Sandy worked at the restaurant for several years before deciding to “buy it on faith.”
“A lot of prayer went on in that restaurant,” Kenneth added. “We’ve seen a lot of miracles and a lot of people healed.”
They related the story of one customer who asked for prayer because doctors had found a “football-sized” tumor in his wife’s abdomen. When she went for more tests later that afternoon, Kenneth said, there was no longer any sign of the tumor.
“We get a lot of prayer requests (called in) at the restaurant,” he said.
In fact, the Wyatts say they believe the Christian atmosphere is what made the business such a success – in addition to their employees and customers.
They pointed out that their customers are so loyal to the business some have been known to chase down people in the parking lot for failing to pay the bill.
“We’d like to thank all our customers for supporting us because you don’t have a business if you don’t have customers,” Sandy added.
Although the restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, it was never open on Sundays.
But that didn’t stop them from gathering there on Sundays to pray. Eventually they got a building on Rt. 11 and opened the non-denominational Prayer Infirmary.
“We’re just so in love with the Lord,” Sandy said. “We just want to be in his will.”
They said closing the restaurant isn’t failure, “it’s more like we’re being forced out” by the economy.
But they feel fortunate because they’re “leaving without owing anything.”
So they said they are just asking “what next Lord?”
“We hope we’ve given something back to Pulaski,” she said.
They are both natives of Pulaski. They married 30 years ago after Kenneth met Sandy while she was working for his brother as a babysitter.
“She offered me an M&M and stole my heart,” Kenneth said. “She’s my first wife and my last wife.”
Sandy said chicken and dumplings have always been a favorite of their customers, so they plan to make them the special during the last week of business.
While they own everything that’s inside the building, they lease the building from New River Land.
Kenneth said he hasn’t placed the restaurant on the market, but “it would be great if someone wanted to come in and take it over.”
If not, they said they are praying their employees, some of whom have been there 10 years, are able to find a new job.

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Master Chef closing

PULASKI — A piece of Pulaski’s history will close June 28 when Master Chef shuts its doors after 40 years in business.
Kenneth and Sandy Wyatt, who have owned the restaurant for the past decade, said the economy and the increasing cost of supplies is what prompted them to make the decision to close the restaurant.
Sandy estimated overhead has increased by at least 25 percent, but Kenneth said it is more like 40 percent.
“Our suppliers keep telling us we need to go up on our prices, but we didn’t want to do that to our customers,” Kenneth said, noting that most of their customers are regulars and that many are on fixed incomes.
“We really worry about our customers,” Kenneth said. “It’s not like a business, it’s like a family.”
While they will miss those customers and their nine employees, Sandy said the closing is bittersweet because “I believe we’re all being promoted” to better things.
The Wyatts said their only plans at this point are to “follow Jesus and see where he leads us.”
She said the “greatest thing” about the restaurant is the way she saw “God working in it. It was food for the soul and body.”
Sandy worked at the restaurant for several years before deciding to “buy it on faith.”
“A lot of prayer went on in that restaurant,” Kenneth added. “We’ve seen a lot of miracles and a lot of people healed.”
They related the story of one customer who asked for prayer because doctors had found a “football-sized” tumor in his wife’s abdomen. When she went for more tests later that afternoon, Kenneth said, there was no longer any sign of the tumor.
“We get a lot of prayer requests (called in) at the restaurant,” he said.
In fact, the Wyatts say they believe the Christian atmosphere is what made the business such a success – in addition to their employees and customers.
They pointed out that their customers are so loyal to the business some have been known to chase down people in the parking lot for failing to pay the bill.
“We’d like to thank all our customers for supporting us because you don’t have a business if you don’t have customers,” Sandy added.
Although the restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, it was never open on Sundays.
But that didn’t stop them from gathering there on Sundays to pray. Eventually they got a building on Rt. 11 and opened the non-denominational Prayer Infirmary.
“We’re just so in love with the Lord,” Sandy said. “We just want to be in his will.”
They said closing the restaurant isn’t failure, “it’s more like we’re being forced out” by the economy.
But they feel fortunate because they’re “leaving without owing anything.”
So they said they are just asking “what next Lord?”
“We hope we’ve given something back to Pulaski,” she said.
They are both natives of Pulaski. They married 30 years ago after Kenneth met Sandy while she was working for his brother as a babysitter.
“She offered me an M&M and stole my heart,” Kenneth said. “She’s my first wife and my last wife.”
Sandy said chicken and dumplings have always been a favorite of their customers, so they plan to make them the special during the last week of business.
While they own everything that’s inside the building, they lease the building from New River Land.
Kenneth said he hasn’t placed the restaurant on the market, but “it would be great if someone wanted to come in and take it over.”
If not, they said they are praying their employees, some of whom have been there 10 years, are able to find a new job.

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