Small Business Spotlight: Fancy Frog serves up Southern cooking

Fancy Frog proprietor Melissa Roach is staying busy with takeout and delivery in spite of the coronavirus crisis.

Melissa Roach, formerly a nurse at Centra, opened her business Fancy Frog Southern Catering and Diner in June 2019. Asked about the name of her business, Roach said she has always loved frogs.

During the coronavirus shutdown, she is offering take-out and delivery. She delivers in the Gretna area, five miles out from Gretna, and also to some areas within Altavista. She opens at 7:00 a.m. and usually stays open until 8:00 p.m. but has been closing at 7:00 p.m. recently. Fancy Frog serves three meals a day, including breakfast all day.

Fancy Frog is known for its daily specials, which are $8.99. They are the same each week. Roach serves meatloaf on Mondays, taco salad on Tuesdays, pork chops on Thursdays, cubed steak on Fridays, chef’s choice on Saturdays, and baked spaghetti on Sundays. Fancy Frog is closed on Wednesdays.

The Southern-style eatery also offers a regular menu with items such as the jumbo burger made with a half pound of ground beef and served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, and cheese along with French fries for $7.59. The menu includes entrees like tenderloin, BBQ, and chicken tenders with two side dishes for $8.99. A house salad ($3.29), a chef’s salad ($7.50), and a grilled chicken salad ($7.85) are available. The proprietress also makes and serves desserts, such as chocolate pie and yellow cake.

Roach holds a place in her heart for the elderly. During this time of crisis, if she still has servings of her specials left at the end of the day, she makes food boxes and takes them--at no charge--to elderly neighbors who live close to her diner.

Typically, she has elderly customers who come in on a daily basis for breakfast and dinner. Most of these are men who don’t cook for themselves and enjoy socializing with each other when they come in for meals. Roach said it “breaks my heart that they don’t have anybody.” Some of these regular customers have been ordering delivery, and Roach makes sure she asks them if they have any special needs from the store, which she tries to pick up for them.

When she does catering, Roach takes an unusually flexible approach. Rather than offering a pre-set series of menus, Roach asks her customers to tell her whatever they want and she prepares their items to order.

Fancy Frog is located at 754 N. Main St. in Gretna and can be reached by phone at 434-656-1255.