People began arriving long before the doors opened at 7am. There were the regulars at their favorite tables, generations of family members, newcomers like myself, and snowbirds just passing through on their way to the coast. It stayed busy for hours as a steady stream of customers came to pay their respects to Ella’s granddaughter Debbie Klemmer.
Flora & Ella’s stayed busy for hours as a steady stream of customers came to pay their respects to Ella’s granddaughter Debbie Klemmer. She’s got a lifetime of Flora & Ella memories stored up and says closing the restaurant is “like burying a loved one."
Klemmer’s favorite memory takes her back to her childhood, when as a young girl she would get up early and go into the kitchen as the pies were being made. “Our pie baker Eula Mae Coston …. she would let me lick the pots...to this day, when I make the pies, I still like to lick the pots,” says Klemmer.
Late arrivals to Flora & Ella’s who hoped to take home one of the restaurant’s famous pies, found their luck had run out. The final batch of 75 pies sold out quickly. Many more had been spoken for weeks ago.
Several long-time Flora & Ella employees have already found work in other restaurants, including Christine Yelling, who baked pies at Flora & Ella’s for more than three decades. She’s working her magic at the Farmer's Market Restaurant in Ft. Myers. As for Debbie, she’s still baking, using the name "Granny Ella's Pies by Debbie."