I’ve lived in Fort Mill, South Carolina, most of my life, but when my wife joined me here in 2012, leaving behind the convenient walking community of nearby Charlotte, it was a difficult transition. Since that relocation, we’ve made it our Saturday routine to seek out local spots to enjoy together.
We had driven past Regent Park, a local shopping center, several times during our adventures but hadn’t stopped until we heard about The Flipside Café. On our first attempt to visit we found it closed, but decided it was a perfect selection for our next Saturday adventure.
Since that inaugural trip we have often invited friends to meet for brunch, always with the recommendation that they arrive early. We quickly learned from the crowds lining the block that we were not the only ones in on the secret. Even during the week, it’s not unusual to wait thirty minutes for a table at lunchtime, but the locally-sourced, market-fresh food is always worth it.
I had the opportunity to meet owners Jon and Amy Fortes one morning while sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee from Counter Culture, a roaster local to Durham, North Carolina. The couple hails from Massachusetts and Buffalo, NY, respectively, and quickly realized their shared desire to open a neighborhood café when they met.
In the kitchen, observing Jon at work was as much a treat as tasting his finished dishes. An experienced chef who has been the winner of several cooking competitions, he was so at ease in multitasking–chopping bacon, cracking eggs, and tending to his grits–that it seemed as if he had four arms. Perfection and presentation were of obvious importance; I watched him plate each dish the way a painter creates a masterpiece.
As a photographer, I find food so much more enjoyable when well-presented, The Flipside Café never fails. Even dishes described so simply, like warm asparagus and a side of assorted mushrooms with a fried egg on a bed of kale, arrived beautifully prepared.
By partnering with farms, coffee roasters, and other local suppliers, the Fortes are creating a culture for their café and clientele, consistently striving for excellence and quality.
Jon and Amy take this kind of care with each plate and for every customer, so whether you’re a regular, a passer-through, or simply a newly local family searching a comfortable spot, they manage to make each one of the many who line up for their food feel like part of the The Flipside Café family.
Flip Side Cafe
3150 US-21, Fort Mill, SC 29715