The Sand Castle is a Labor of Love

The Sand Castle Cafe and Grill on St. Simon’s

A Restaurant Review and Recipe

Melissa and Tim Wellford
Melissa and Tim Wellford

As a Labor Day tribute I’ve chosen to honor two people who love their jobs: Tim and Melissa Wellford, owners of The Sandcastle Cafe on St. Simons Island, Georgia. These two are a team who live and work long hard hours together. Their restaurant has earned a faithful following and like the nearby lighthouse, shines as a beacon. The Cafe is open seven days a week from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm, except Sunday- 8am-2pm.

For $8.35, the full buffet breakfast comes with eggs to order, carrot, raisin, morning glory or blueberry muffins, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, waffles, French toast, grits, cheese grits, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fresh fruit, yogurt and beverage. You can’t beat that, especially since Tim is the chef.  He loves to cook and his customers savor the rewards.

On the morning I visited, I have to say the pancakes were the lightest I’ve ever eaten. Truly melt in your mouth lusciousness. In fact, everything tasted just how I’d wished it would.

I’d describe the decor as beach casual with turn of the century photos of St Simons gracing the walls. Want to sit with your cup of coffee and bask in the morning sunshine? Try the outdoor seating area near the pier. While the Sand Castle ranks as a locals hang out, it’s not wired for wifi.  That’s because 200-300 patrons demand the breakfast buffet on Saturdays and Sundays. In a typical week Mike and staff cook up 300 dozen eggs and 350 pounds of sausage

The cafe also runs a brisk lunch trade and tour bus groups favor the spot. Tim’s lunch specialty is a crab cake sandwich and he kindly shared the recipe.

Small town island life agrees with Tim and Melissa and it’s easy to tell they are happy people. Melissa says she is living her dream life. “We make a good living in a good place to raise a family. The Wellford’s and their one daughter reside close to school, work, play and the doctor on St. Simons.

All of that sounds ideal, but the fact remains– Melissa and Tim labor at their love. Here’s wishing them and all a  Happy Labor Day.

Please visit other food blogs through WanderFood Wednesday and try Tim’s recipe:

The Sand Castle Cafe Crab Cakes


  • 4 lbs. lump crab (the good stuff)
  • 2 cups crushed Saltine crackers
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
  • 5 Tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Mix 4 eggs, the old Bay, pepper, mustard, mayonnaise.
  2. In a separate bowl, toss the crab with the cracker crumbs. Let sit for an hour.
  3. Mix all together and scoop into good size cakes.
  4. Fry, grill or sauté as you choose.  Tim fries the cakes for his famous sandwiches.

The Sand Castle Cafe on Saint Simons Island

117 Mallory St
Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
(912) 638-8883  

8 thoughts on “The Sand Castle is a Labor of Love

  1. I have heard many great raves about this place. Will definitely check them out when we make it to St. Simon.

  2. We've always said we'd go to St. Simon's Island (my son's name is Simon) and now, when we do, we've got a breakfast place!

  3. Great story i can definitely see why you want to honor those guys. And about those crab cakes they look absolutely delicious, I’ll give them a try.

  4. What a lovely place! Thanks for the recipe – though I'm not a huge fan of crab, I do loooove crab cakes! 🙂

  5. What a fun place to go!! I love "local hangouts" like this. We have one similar called The Rusty Wagon. 🙂 The name alone makes me smile. 🙂

  6. This is lovely! Looks like the kind of place that offers a personal touch. and I love crab cakes!

  7. A good reminder that while the idea of living on an island and running a restaurant with your spouse sounds like a dream, it is a lot of hard work. Great post.

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