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Longbranch Café Wins “Neighborly” Award for Unending Support of Local Community

Longbranch Cafe

UPDATE 7/11/21- After closer review, and in consultation with SIU Administration, Longbranch Cafe will not be recognized at today’s awards ceremony and will not be in attendance. We want to ensure today’s award ceremony highlights the many individuals, businesses, and youth who’ve gone above and beyond to demonstrate kindness and compassion over the past year.


Carbondale, IL – For 22 years, Longbranch Café & Bakery has not just been serving Southern Illinois but also doing its best to help local community groups and good causes whenever and wherever possible. General Manager Elaine Ramseyer has been an important part of this mission, something she has embraced with passion. Her attitude and efforts have made Longbranch Café a favorite place to eat, have a coffee and see friends for two generations of community members and counting. The Longbranch Café serves healthy and fresh vegetarian meals. They also educate their customers and staff in nutrition. The Longbranch Café initiated the Town Square Business Coalition, which led to the Friday Night Fair and several Art Around the Square events where as many as 16 businesses around the historic Town Square hosted simultaneous art openings for local artists. Moreover, the Longbranch Café is also a charter member of Carbondale Main Street.

WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is pleased to announce that Longbranch Café as the recipient of the ‘Neighborly' award in the business category.

“Real people, real food, real connection. Kind of a byline we created to explain who we are. We make the food from scratch, which sadly in this industry sets us apart from the other guys."
General Manager, Elaine Ramseyer

The enthusiasm surrounding winning the award is high.

“Real people, real food, real connection. Kind of a byline we created to explain who we are. We make the food from scratch, which sadly in this industry sets us apart from the other guys. We come in the morning and start sifting flour, making biscuits and working the butter. Nobody else really does that. The food is locally sourced as much as we can. Pretty much everything is completely handmade. We make our own bread and burger buns. We make our own veggie burgers. All of the pastries are made from scratch,” said Elaine. “The real people and real connections are probably what has helped us win this award. The customers are mostly local and from the surrounding counties. At the beginning, it was very student driven. But more recently, it has shifted to locals and some who hike or explore Shawnee Forest. A few others are excited to try our food because we are one of the only vegetarian restaurants in the region.”

Nominators have seen the neighborly spirit of the cafe and staff firsthand again and again. Elaine Ramseyer and her extraordinary staff support many local organizations through contributions and by serving as a free event space for local groups.

About One Region All Neighbors

Inspired by the life and legacy of Fred Rogers and in honor of his vision, WSIU’s One Region, All Neighbors initiative encourages community members to nominate those who are making positive contributions through acts of kindness, compassion and service. Winners are chosen from nominations submitted by the public in five categories— individual, youth, educator, community group, and business. WSIU recognizes these winners on its television and radio stations, website and social media.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than five million people across six states and beyond through five digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and education and outreach services. They partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

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