'Definitely worth the trip:' Durham's Main Street Cafe & Bakery the town's best-kept secret

Alice Mannette
The Hutchinson News
Kris Wiebe serves up a slice of her homemade apple pie, which is one of nine flavors available at Main Street Cafe & Bakery in Durham.

DURHAM — A little more than one year ago, one of Durham’s landmarks, the restaurant that's served customers since the 1920s, was about to close due to severe flooding in the area.

But Kris and Mark Wiebe stepped up to the plate.

Main Street Cafe served as a gathering place for generations of patrons. Area college students, out of towners, and locals alike trekked to Durham - population, 85 - for homemade biscuits and gravy, brown sugar syrup on pancakes, German specialties, and Friday night buffets. 

In August 2019, Kris and Mark Wiebe purchased the downtown eatery, cleaned up the flooding-caused issues, and added “Bakery” to the name.

Mark Wiebe cooks sausage for customers at Main Street Cafe & Bakery in Durham.

Kris had sold her baked goods for more than a decade at farmers' markets around Kansas. In purchasing the restaurant, she saw a way to bake and sell her goods from one location.

Travelers from across the state were thrilled to see the decades of home cooking continue.

“Everything is great,” said Peggy Valliant of Wichita. “The food is wonderful.”

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Along with more than eight rotating flavors of homemade pies - including bumbleberry, a mixed berry pie - the eatery specializes in breakfast and lunch. Mark grinds and grills the meat for sausage patties, while Kris bakes the homemade buns and bread, using Kansas’ own Hudson Cream flour from nearby Stafford. 

“The sausage is to die for,” said Linda Mack.

Mack traveled with friends from Wichita and stopped at the café on the recommendation of a friend.

Customers from Wichita enjoy their meal at Main Street Cafe & Bakery in Durham.

“This is definitely worth the trip,” Diane White said. “We’re glad to know this is here.”

Kris said it was touch and go when COVID-19 first hit. She and Mark decided to do a drive-by barbecue, which morphed into an all-you-can-eat Friday evening buffet.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” Kris said. “It’s been an interesting year.”

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Along with Kris’ homemade baked goods and Mark’s sausages, the couple sells homemade bierocks, peppernuts and granola. They also sell Mark’s brother’s small-batch cheese from Jason Wiebe Dairy, also in Durham.

Kris Wiebe serves a slice of her homemade apple pie, which is one of nine flavors available at Main Street Cafe & Bakery in Durham.

Although the grill is modern, the couple still uses the old icebox, which was converted into a refrigerator years ago. The wooden doors add charm to the old-fashioned eatery.

Kris and Mark said customers from Salina to Hutchinson to El Dorado continually stop by for a bite. Lunch includes hamburgers and sausage burgers, as well as grilled cheese, brisket and homemade syrup and jam. In addition, come late April, the salad bar will once again feature locally-grown lettuce from a farm in Durham.

“We get customers from all over,” Kris said. “It keeps our courage up.”