Holly's celebrating 14 years of providing home-style cooking

by Don Bingham

For 14 years, Holly’s Country Cooking in Conway has been a favorite for great home-style cooking!

When you first meet Holly Hayes, you will wonder if she opened this oasis of home-style vegetables at age 12! Holly is young, active and has grown up in a family of cooks. 

The origin of Holly’s begins with Holly’s great aunt, Bobbi McIntyre, a wonderful cook and former owner of Bobbi’s Country Cooking in Little Rock. When Bobbi closed her restaurant in Little Rock 14 years ago, she encouraged Holly to open a similar establishment in Conway, and the rest is history.

Many of the recipes that Holly uses on a daily basis came from Holly’s aunt Bobbi. The serving lines offer daily specials of roast beef, hamburger steak, lasagna, chicken and dressing, fried catfish and shrimp, and fried chicken and chicken fried steak are on the menu every day, Monday through Friday. The vegetables are colorful and fresh — mashed potatoes, cabbage, great northern beans, butter beans, turnip greens, purple hull peas, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, squash casserole and more!

Holly’s daughter, Jessie Mills, started in the business at 14 years old, making the pie crusts for the desserts. 

Holly’s will celebrate its 14th anniversary on Monday, Oct. 15. Jessie still comes in on a daily basis and makes the pie crusts from scratch for her mom. 

The coconut cream pie is beautiful, but there is also chocolate, banana, chocolate peanut butter and cherry pies that appear on the serving line throughout the week. 

“There are five good cooks, and we all love cooking,” Holly said. It’s apparent they all cook great dishes as the Arkansas Times has awarded them the Country Cooking Award for five years. This year, the Arkansas Times awarded Holly’s with the best banana pie in Arkansas. Gov. Mike Beebe is a regular dining guest when passing through Conway.

Holly’s offers catering as well, especially the turkey and dressing and pies at Thanksgiving, and Holly’s is even open to cooking with your personal, favorite recipes.

Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, customers begin lining up at 11 a.m. at 120 Harkrider St. in Conway! For more information, call 501.328.9738. 

For a great place of country-style, delicious dining, 501 LIFE proudly suggests Holly’s!

Chicken Confetti

(from Holly’s Country Cooking)

4-5 lbs. of chicken

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove

2 cans (16 oz. each) tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste 

2 tsp. salt

l tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. pepper

Spaghetti noodles

Brown chicken in oil. Saute onion and garlic. Drain. 

Stir in chicken and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook slowly, 60 to 90 minutes.

Prepare spaghetti according to package instructions.

Pour chicken mixture over spaghetti and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.