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Family tradition continues with new management

Submitted Photo
Nancy Smith and Mary Imran in The Smith House kitchen.

By Kendra Hennis 
The Smith House on Main Street in Tuscola has been a staple in the community for events since it was opened by Nancy Smith. The location has housed a large number of gatherings and meetings for all in the area–and hundreds of home-cooked meals have been served. 

Since Nancy’s retirement from the business in late 2021, her oldest daughter, Mary Imran, has returned to Tuscola to take over the family buisness. Imran was born and raised in Tuscola, and is excited to return to her hometown to take on the venture after raising her children and working in the Education and Administration field.

Imran said, “it was never really in my original thinking to leave education, which I absolutely love Educational Administration. But, it has been really fun to step into something that mom has built and nurtured and just see how the community has responded to her graciousness, her cooking, the reputation she has developed and all of the doors that are open to me because of my mother… I have embraced this as an opportunity to kind of grow in a new direction and see what I can do with it. Mom has really started something phenomenal and I’d like to take that and keep the essence of her midwestern comfort-food and hospitality and just grow it.” 

Imran plans to continue her mother’s legacy of hospitality and home-cooked food, with hopes to eventually offer more for the community. The Smith House continues to be open as a meeting and event space for any small group. Imran has also begun weekly curbside dinner pickup on Wednesday’s, allowing for residents to enjoy a home-cooked meal, even during a busy evening. She noted that the curbside dinners have been a big hit, and has considered expanding to a second evening.  

Imran is also excited to announce that The Smith House will begin serving a Sunday lunch buffet, with the first lunch being held on Easter Sunday at noon. At this time, Sunday lunches are being served by reservation only, which can be made by calling the Smith House or visiting their website. She is also working to update the interior of the home, with the hopes of opening a Bed & Breakfast within, a possible coffee shop, and a venue for smaller weddings. 

The Smith House, located in Tuscola, Illinois, is the perfect location for an array of events. Its comfortable private setting includes a beautiful porch to gather and a versatile, indoor dining area for up to 75 guests. Whether you are planning a small retreat for 12 or a class reunion for 70, the Smith House is a welcoming place where people connect in Douglas County. More information and reservations for The Smith House can be found by visiting Reservations for Sunday lunches can also be made by calling 217-253-2819.

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