Something the Weares have been talking about for years has become reality. The family opened its restaurant, The Hollow Log Café, in Caledonia last Monday, Sept. 17.
“With the logging industry the way it is, we decided to get a little something else going,” says Cindy Ross, one of restaurant’s owners.
The family also owns and operates R & C Weare Logging Ltd.
Ross is also working with her mother, Joanne Weare, father Roger Weare, brother Christopher Weare and sister-in-law Jennifer Weare. And they have a number of employees. Bonnie Smith is one of them. She ran her own restaurant and is helping a lot with things the others might not know.
Ross says since opening, the café has been busy.
“Everybody’s really excited about it,” she says.
Joanne says locals have been asking for ages when the restaurant would be opening.
“I think it was what the community needed to get a little life back in it,” says Ross.
The food is varied. Displayed behind glass are baked goods, such as pies, tarts and brownies. A sign on the counter advertises the special – a turkey dinner. There are also subs and clubs, and there is breakfast.
“People describe it as comfort food,” Joanne says.
People looking for French fries won’t find them at this café. The decision wasn’t just about space. They also decided to forego a fryer for health reasons.
Though the Weares are in the logging industry, they weren’t completely new to the restaurants. Ross’ father’s mother owned Weares Restaurant, which was where the gas station in Caledonia is. In addition to having worked in that restaurant, Ross has also taken a hospitality course.
So far, some of the challenges of running the café have been organizing things – deciding what to put where, and having to make last-minute trips for things they don’t have.
“Making the menu,” adds Ross. “It’s mostly finished now.”
The menu will remain consistent, but there will be a special each week, say Ross and Joanne.
Beyond the challenges are brighter moments, such as seeing people enjoying the restaurant, says Ross. People have been coming in and providing lots of positive feedback.
The café isn’t licensed, but the Weares have thought about looking into it down the road. There’s also a wall mount for a television. Another plan is to have a patio, and Ross says her brother has suggested a playground.
The Hollow Log Café is at 9902 Highway 8 in Caledonia and is open each day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.