By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV
Erin Lovell revels in details. Every aspect of her newest project, The Lunch Box in White Sulphur Springs, tells a story. And it all begins with the “handle” atop the 10×16 foot pistachio-green building.
“Everywhere we go people would say, ‘I wish you were still serving food,’” she recalls.
One day she was looking at the 10×16 foot building behind her store, which used to be Mark Bowe’s office, and she saw a vision.
“It looked like a big lunch box,” she says. “One of those old metal ones. So we made a handle for the top.”
Her crew of four employees began serving lunch in late-September. “It’s been insane,” ever since according to Erin.
From B Sweet to Sweet Cedar to The Lunch Box
After building a successful eatery in White Sulphur Springs called B Sweet Confectionary several years ago, life happened to Erin. Her husband, Mike, experienced a major health scare, they had a child, and her professional life shifted. She closed B Sweet and opened Sweet Cedar, a bath and body products business.
“This building was the original Sweet Cedar,” she says. “When we moved that inside the White Sulphur storefront, Mark rented it for office space.” (Mark Bowe’s Barnwood Living store is located directly beside Erin’s building in downtown White Sulphur.)
That business has now expanded to Lewisburg as well as a successful online customer base. And the calls from her customers to get back in the food game never stopped.
“People want a quick lunch that’s good,” she says. “We have great restaurants in White Sulphur. The more choices we have, the more people will come here.”
“It’s all homemade, down to the dressings,” Erin tells RealWV.
The menu includes daily specials, soups, salads, and sandwiches.
The Saratoga is their most popular sandwich, closely followed by The Italian. They work to accommodate various dietary restrictions, including gluten-free options.
“My favorite is The Buffalo,” Erin offers. “The food quality is our top priority, and second is customer satisfaction. I can remember people’s orders from years ago. That goes a long way.”
As do their signature sweets. No lunch is complete without a cookie or cake. Yes, you read that right. A personal cake.
“People loved our cupcakes,” says Erin. “We had 18 everyday at B Sweet, but we just can’t do that here.”
So instead, Erin makes mini layer cakes. They are designed for one person and available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
“They’re popular for birthdays and just for lunch,” Erin says. “They’re cute.”
If you happen to go on a Tuesday or Thursday, fear not. You may not get a mini cake, but you can often indulge in a personal pie.
“We plan to do Saturday Sweets on special occasions too,” adds Erin. “People always ask for my cinnamon rolls and pumpkin donuts, so we will try and do those on Saturdays sometimes.”
When you visit, you will notice that Erin does not use any plastic in the operation.
“We are 100% plastic-free,” she proudly says. “In Sweet Cedar we use a lot of plastic because of the nature of the business, so it was important to us to offset that here. Little things can make a big difference.”
Know before you go
The Lunch Box is open Monday-Friday from 1030am-330pm. They are located at 14 Caldwell Drive in White Sulphur Springs, across from CIty Hall.
You can order online at www.thelunchboxwss.com, or you can call them at 681-222-7646 to place an order in advance.
Ample parking is available. Find a good spot, because the food is so good that you’ll want to stay a while.