MaKaylah Bell didn’t set out to own a business, but when the opportunity arose, it just seemed like a good fit. Makaylah has lived in Java with her partner Jake Fees, an applicator for Agtegra since 2015.
“Buying the Clover Leaf started out as a joke’” said MaKaylah, “It really did.”
She was there a lot when she was employed as a waitress and when the owner said she’s sell it to them, it didn’t take long before the young couple decided to accept the challenge.
They are also raising two kids. Colby who is 7, and Bailee who is 3, both get to experience the restaurant’s family business environment first hand.
“I like small communities, everyone’s more helpful and friendly. It’s a nice small quiet area, very good for kids,” said MaKaylah
She is the second oldest of nine kids. Five of her siblings live in Java. Her mother’s family is from Mobridge and Isabel originally. MaKaylah’s great aunt Ree Hammrich still lives in Mobridge.
That’s part of the reason her parents, Chad and Julie Fox ,moved back to this area. They wanted to be closer to Ree and Chad needed a job that wouldn’t aggravate a work injury. MaKaylah came to visit her parents from Montana four years ago while Chad and Julie were managing the Java bar.
“I met Jake there and moved to South Dakota a month later,” she said.
MaKaylah is a people person when she’s not in the sanctity of her home.
“I love to waitress and bar tend, and at home I like to cook, but if I’m at the cafe and I have to cook I hate it,” she said. “It makes my anxiety go through the roof.”
Thanks to her mom and dad, MaKaylah doesn’t have to cook too often.
“My dad has always cooked. He got me my first job in a restaurant where he cooked when we lived in Montana,” said MaKaylah, who began working as a waitress when she was 14.
A Thanksgiving mishap sticks in MaKaylah’s mind.
“I boiled potatoes dry once. Everybody left and I was in charge and I fell asleep,” she said. “I ruined the pot and everything.”
She loves absolutely all pasta but her favorite meal is her mom’s homemade lasagna. Her mom always puts extra ricotta in it for her which makes it unbeatable.
MaKaylah likes to go on road trips, and when she gets more time she and Jake want to take the kids to Yellowstone National Park. She has never been there
“I lived in Montana and went to Mount Rushmore a couple of times but have never been to Yellowstone,” she said.
MaKaylah used to hunt but had a bit of a bad experience so really doesn’t care to now. She does like to fish with Jake and the kids though.
“We used to go fishing at Hiddenwood,” she said. “We liked to take the dogs along and let them jump in the water afterwards.”
They also enjoy fishing at Spring Lake, but only in the summer.
“I’m not meant to be on the ice in the cold weather,” she laughed.
Football is also a popular pastime in the Fees house. Makaylah is a Denver Broncos fan and Jake likes the Cowboys, but even Colby gets into watching the game. He and his dad often throw the ball around in the yard.
They also tried their hand at being a part of the Java City Council but decided the experience wasn’t for them.
Makaylah Bell’s Recipes
Lemon Lime Jell-O Poke Cake
1 box of lemon cake mix
1 box lime Jell-O
1 box lemon Jell-O
1 large container Cool Whip
Bake cake as directed and set out to cool. While the cake is cooling, prepare the Jell-O cutting out a bit of the water to ensure that the Jell-O is a little firm. Poke holes at regular intervals throughout the cake with the end of a wooden spoon and pour lime Jell-O over the top. Refrigerate until set. In the Cool Whip container stir lemon Jell-O until a nice frosting is formed. Frost the cake and enjoy!
3-4 lbs. hamburger
4 cans chili beans
4 cans kidney beans
3-4 cans of diced tomatoes
1 large can of chicken broth
Brown beef and drain. Add all beans and tomatoes to a large pot then add chicken broth-I don’t drain the tomatoes to give it more flavor. Simmer and add chili seasoning to desired spiciness and simmer on low for 3-4 hours. Add onions and cheese if you like. Serve.
32 oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
24 oz. mozzarella cheese
8 oz. cheddar jack cheese
3 lbs. ground beef browned and drained
2-3 boxes no-bake lasagna noodles
In a large bowl mix together eggs and cheeses, retaining some cheese separately for the final topping. In a 9×13-inch pan spread a layer of sauce, followed by a layer of no-bake lasagna noodles and sauce again. Layer burger, cheese mixture, noodles, and sauce and repeat adding cheese and sauce amounts to taste. Layer until pan is full and add shredded cheese on top. Bake at 350 for one hour. Let stand and serve.