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It's a family affair at Brew & Stew

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    Aubrey Shanklin, 8, and her mom, Sarah, have fun with a face-swapping app during brunch Sunday at Brew & Stew in Lorain.


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    Brew and Stew owner Mary Fields uses liquid nitrogen to make a raspberry sorbet for addition to beverages during brunch service Sunday at the Lorain cafe.


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    Brew and Stew owner Mary Fields serves tea sandwiches during brunch Sunday at the Lorain cafe.


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    Elizabeth Davis, 21 months, sits with grandmother Brenda Shelton during brunch Sunday at Brew and Stew in Lorain.


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    Art adorns the ceiling at Brew & Stew in Lorain, Sunday.



LORAIN — Everyday is Mother’s Day at Brew and Stew cafe, owner Mary Fields said after the business’s brunch Sunday afternoon.

Bringing in about 100 customers — mothers, grandmothers and entire families — its Mother’s Day event featured a set menu, tea, nitrogen sorbet and a blueberry lemon cake made by baker Laura Coteff.

What made the afternoon special, Fields and Coteff noted, were the “staff.” Fields, two of her daughters, her mother, sister-in-law and mother-in-law were all on hand that afternoon — while Fields’ 92-year-old grandmother Mary Miller kept an eye on everyone.

“She told me, ‘Mary I wish I could help,’” Fields said of her grandmother. “I told her, ‘It’s OK, Grandma, you’re smiling and having a good time.’”

Fields said everyone at the cafe are mothers and wanted to create something special for other families to enjoy.

One of Fields’ daughters wasn’t able to help serve the crowd finger sandwiches and cake. Her oldest, Ali, graduated from the University of North Texas on Saturday. Fields flew back from Dallas after the ceremony to finish organizing Sunday’s event.

“So think about her dedication, you know what I mean,” Coteff said. “She’s bouncing off halfway across the country and to come back and provide a really nice event here for all the ladies, you know.”

Coteff, owner of Abielle bakery, said that dedication to family is just a part of Brew and Stew.

“I think that’s one of the biggest words to describe what’s going on here is the family,” Coteff said. “My dad’s retired, he works part time just helping do dishes a few days a week just to be a part of it too but he’s like. ‘I always hear people say it’s so cozy here, it’s like a family here.’ … It’s just the best service because we want it to be so warm and inviting, and I think that’s what people really respond to.”

And customers have become part of that family, too, Fields said. Sunday morning saw help from not only Fields’ relatives, but a regular customer or two and their kids.

Fields said as the cafe has become more established, regular customers have taken the time to teach her how to make chai tea, or jumped on the espresso machine or done dishes when Fields and her daughter Madi, 20, get swamped.

“It’s just so beautiful how the community’s coming together,” she said. “They see ‘they’re so busy, let’s just jump in and help.’ It’s giving me goosebumps because that’s what’s going to bring this (city) back is the community and the people.”

Fields’ mother, Liz Miller Sniezek, said it’s been astonishing to watch the cafe grow since it opened in October, and working with her daughter on Mother’s Day brought back a lot of memories.

“Back in the day, Mary and I used to put on a lot of parties, and Mary is just the best at it,” Miller Sniezek said. “It was a nice. I can’t believe all the food that was here; she really did a great job.”

Fields’ grandmother Mary Miller said it was a special treat to be at the brunch — and working together like they did Sunday is just what their family does.

“I’m glad to be here,” she said. “It makes you wonder sometimes when you’re my age — I’ll be 93 in July — that if all your life if you did something that made a difference and you hope you did. But when you get your kids together you know that you did something.”

Brew and Stew is located at 630 Broadway Ave.

Contact Carissa Woytach at 329-7245 or

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