PRINCETON — A local restaurant is offering guests an authentic West Virginia experience with traditional Appalachian cuisine.

Coal Country Candy and Cafe, located in the historic district of Princeton, welcomes guests to taste the flavor of the Mountain State through their home cooking. Along with good food the restaurant also offers a warm welcome and smiling faces to all who enter.

“We serve old fashion food that you would see in a West Virginia home if you sat down and had dinner with them,” Lisa Biermann, the restaurant owner said.

Biermann first started her business as strictly candy making. Though she had owned restaurants previously in Tennessee, prior to opening Coal Country she wasn’t seeking to open a full restaurant. The driving factor for her opening the eatery is her special needs son Tyler.

“I was on a mission to manufacture candies and that was it. My son is not going to be able to go out and work but I can bring him here and I can teach him. I built this for people like Tyler to bring on other people and give them a job. The most important thing is feeling like you belong to something,” Biermann said.

Biermann encourages guests to visit the restaurant where Tyler will play various types of music over the store’s sound system. To her and her guests’ surprise he always plays music that the visitors enjoy which adds to their positive experience.

“It’s God first and my son second. God is what keeps my son progressing and keeps us doing well,” Biermann said.

Along with making home-style food such as cabbage rolls, chicken and dumplings and more, Biermann also manufactures her own candy line entitled Lisa Dawn’s West Virginia Coal Candy. This rock candy resembles the coal that put West Virginia on the map. Flavors include cinnamon, watermelon, butterscotch, and others.

“Mercer Street is growing. People live to be able to come out and have a country meal and not have to cook. They’re excited about the business,” Biermann said.

According to Biermann, she sees both locals and tourists. Tourists enjoy visiting a local restaurant that they can’t find somewhere else and locals enjoy the personable atmosphere.

The restaurant also hosts live music events, catering, candy platters, and gift baskets. Biermann plans to open a gift shop within the restaurant where guests can purchase t-shirts, mugs, and candies in bulk.

Biermann loves her customers and continually supports local law enforcement agencies.

“We have an excellent police department. Those guys are on the job and they don’t get the credit they deserve. They amaze me,” Biermann said.

Coal Country Kandies is open 11 to 8 on Monday through Thursday and 11 to 9 on Friday and Saturday.

For more information contact the restaurant on Facebook at @handmadecandiesfood or at 681-282-5570.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at

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