Whistle Stop Cafe has been carrying on traditions for 22 years

PLANT CITY, Fla. — Homemade bread, delicious sandwiches, hugs and new friends are exactly what you’ll find when you walk into the Whistle Stop Cafe in downtown Plant City.

The popular dining spot has been around for 22 years.

Marti and Jerry Lofstrom embarked on this journey after spending some time in Brandon.

“We took a ride around this little town and he literally fell in love with this place. He was like, Oh, my God, this is such an old town. And it’s like Andy Griffith, where people are so nice and friendly,” Marti reflects.

The Whistle Stop Cafe is in an old pharmacy downtown, in fact the upstairs used to be a hospital.

“I’m not kidding, you have to come to this city, you have to understand people’s humility, and I’m talking about everyone in general.” Martin. “And they responded to us and in so many, many different ways. My husband was literally part of this town, he loves to pray and he was involved in a lot of different things. He wrote for the newspaper, he was involved in the town when he There were meetings. I mean, there were a lot of things that Jerry was in love with. And that’s why we settled, at least here, and I was there for 22 years.

Jerry passed away in December 2021. The community has been through the side of Lofstom through Jerry’s passing and the passing of their daughter before that. In fact, their daughter is painted on a mural just outside their business.

“We always knew Plant City was a caring little town until a situation like this happened to us. And the just town – I get goosebumps. The town just joined us, and they were 100% there because of the humility of the people at the churches,” Marti explained. “We took a trip to Minnesota, and when we came back, there were cards and flowers all over the building because the people were so supportive of our situation. And my husband always said I knew people cared. But I mean, now, now, we, we understand that they are really, really, really caring. I mean, we knew they loved us. But now it’s even more for us to understand that we belong to one city.

The Whistle Stop Cafe is also a true family business. Marti and her son are the two you’ll often see at the front of the business and her sister at the back. Here too you will always find homemade bread.

“I’m just saying we’re here hoping and praying to God to stay. And I want to thank everyone in Plant City,” Marti said. “I want to thank them for everything they have done for us, for our family for being there when we need them and for embracing us when we need them most.”

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement