When Millie Shores returned to Oklahoma to start a food-service business in Edmond, she did not realize so many people would soon know her by name. Yet today, when large companies and families across Edmond need the best-prepared meals around, they call on Millie’s Table and More at 1333 N. Santa Fe.
Shores started her business in 2007, opening and running a Super Suppers franchise until 2011 when the meal-assembly company’s corporate office closed. Shores had a steady base of satisfied customers, but she realized most of them simply wanted prepared meals, and her happy customers often had catering needs that the franchise did not provide.
“We changed our name to Millie’s Table and More since we were doing catering, too,” Shores said. “We also offer hot meals to go, not just refrigerated meals.”
A strong reputation
In the years since opening the franchise and then renaming her business, Shores has built a strong reputation for healthy food that helps busy people feed their families, friends, and co-workers.
“We were very fortunate, and we got the Edmond Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award in 2013,” Shores said.
The business has won numerous awards since then as well. Shores may be even more proud of being able to help people during the unprecedented pandemic.
Helping during the pandemic
“We were also very fortunate to help feed people at home who couldn’t go out,” Shores said. “We also had corporate clients who fed all of their employees at work during the pandemic. That included Purina, which was 500 employees, and the Professional Bull Riders when they came into town.”
Shores and her staff have continued to provide meals for customers during the pandemic, though she notes their cleaning protocols were already extensive.
“Cleaning protocols are what we have always done,” she said. “We did have to do individual meals for catering since we couldn’t do buffet-style meals.”
As a business owner, Shores also faced challenges during the pandemic since she had decided to add a second location before COVID-19 began to spread.
“We did try opening another location on the east side of Edmond because we were so busy at the main location,” she said. “It was an experiment. We tried it, and it just didn’t catch on during the pandemic.”
However, Millie’s Table has remained busy at the original location, and Shores even has other business owners that work out of her commercial kitchen space.
Helping other business owners
“We still do the weekly meals for the Rotary Club, so we will keep on going and doing what we do,” she said. “I have such a large facility that three people rent space from me for their businesses.”
In fact, Shores sells products in her store from two businesses that currently or previously used her kitchen.
“Tall Girl Pasta uses our kitchen, and we sell her pasta out of the store,” she said. “We also sell the More Milk Cookies, which is a lactation cookie for nursing mothers. They used to use our kitchen, but they have their own now.”
Shores said that renting her kitchen helps fill out her space, and it helps the businesses.
“We’re all here to help each other,” she said.
Longtime employees and longtime customers
That spirit of helping is also reflected among Shores’ employees.
“I’ve been very blessed over the years to have staff that have stuck around for four to five years at a time,” she said. “As an owner or manager, you have to be sure you’re teaching employees right and encouraging them. They do such a good job for me. And I feed them, so that helps.”
Similarly, longtime customers feel more like family to Shores.
“We have a lot of new customers, but we also have a lot of people who have been shopping with us since the very beginning,” she said. “We know them by name and know their family histories. It’s kind of like a family when you walk in. We want customers to feel good about the food they’re getting and that it’s prepared safely. I think that’s why they keep coming back.”
Shores noted that she always has a lot of demand for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and she will develop some new recipes throughout the year. Millie’s Table offers fresh items, frozen items, and custom meals. Customers can view customer favorites, healthy selections, monthly features, and gluten-free entrees on the website. Customers can call in or email orders via her website, but Shores prefer they call.
“I just like talking to people,” she said.
To learn more, visit www.milliestable.com or call 405-330-9156. The business can also be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
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About Josh Watson
Josh Watson is a freelance writer, public relations consultant, and tenured associate professor of communication at Oklahoma Christian University. He advises OC’s student-run PR firm, Eagle PR, and the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. Previously, he worked on award-winning state and national campaigns at McNeely Pigott & Fox in Nashville, one of the nation's top independent PR firms. Dr. Watson has helped his students earn numerous awards and recognitions, especially in national campaign competitions. His wife, Chara, teaches speech and theater at Oklahoma Christian Academy, where their four children attend.