August 23, 2023 602 PM
MARFA — In late July, beloved local restaurant Buns N’ Roses carried out its last day of service, ending the mainstay’s run of roughly 11 years serving traditional breakfast platters and donuts to the community.
When mother-daughter team Etta Debbie Sproul-Parrott and Janika LeAnne Gilly first opened their doors in 2012, they recall, there was more demand than supply for places to eat in town. The family has deep roots in Marfa — Gilly’s great-grandmother Agnes Franks founded the Thunderbird Restaurant back in 1963. The duo drew upon those roots to launch their own operation.
They first conceived of the spot as part flower shop, part limited eatery serving light fare — that vision quickly shifted to the full menu patrons enjoyed until the last day.
“We were going to do flowers, a few sweets, and light sandwiches –– well, that didn’t happen,” said Sproul-Parrott. “It became a full-blown breakfast and lunch operation.”
They were known for their classic breakfast diner menu, from generous bacon and egg plates to homemade donuts, rolled and fried right in the kitchen. The pumpkin waffles made every fall were a personal favorite of the mother and daughter. Eventually, the flower-selling side of the operation dwindled, but the food offerings stayed.
Looking back, Sproul-Parrott and Gilly attribute their decade-plus success in Marfa to the support of kind customers and friends.
“It’s hard owning a business, especially in a small town,” said Gilly. “You have good days and bad days like any business, but you get attached to the people. They become like your family. I miss my customers already.”
The last day of service was busy, but quite the send off for the pair. Loyal patrons wanted pictures to document the farewell and bid emotional goodbyes. The owners said they are immensely grateful for those patrons and their support over the years.
“Thank you so much for all the years of support and friendships,” said Gilly, who gave a special shout-out to longtime employee Vanessa Sanchez.
“We will miss everybody,” added Sproul-Parrott.