A beloved favourite breakfast spot in Thornbury is back and judging from the parking lot...more popular than ever!!! We visited with owner Jennifer White (I enjoyed the wild blueberry pancakes again!) menu and asked her to give us her perspective on the closing of The Wild Orchid and the opening of the Orchid. This is Jennifer’s story.
The Orchid, formerly The Wild Orchid started in 1997. I worked for the previous owner who was talking about selling, I was only 24 but had worked in the restaurant business since 15. So I took a chance and invested all I had in this little restaurant. I had a good staff that stayed with me for many years, the business grew with every year that passed. We focused on serving the locals and the average working person. Keeping our prices low and our portions big. The Wild Orchid became the most popular place to meet and eat in all of Thornbury, especially known for our all day breakfast and bottomless coffee.
In 2004 our lease was up for renewal, I was expecting to sign on for another five years, but the Toronto based landlord had other plans. He had made arrangements to sell the property to Tim Horton’s. When word of this got out the town was outraged, many people had agreed (including town council) that Thornbury was to remain franchise free. This breech of trust combined with the locals losing their favorite spot was a sad shift in the community. We were given only two months notice to relocate, which proved to be an impossible task. The entire contents of the restaurant were sold off in yard sale fashion, many things given away to locals as memorabilia.
Two and a half years later, I was approached by a local business owner that I had bought gas from many times over the past ten years. He and his wife had decided to close their business known as The Thornbury Mini Mart. Fate had spoken and The Orchid was making a come back. The response from the public was overwhelming, it was like no one had eaten breakfast in two years waiting for us to reopen. Many of the staff wanted to return to work at The Orchid leaving the jobs they presently had. After three months of extensive renovations, the installation of a brand new kitchen and passing all the inspections; we opened the doors January 15th 2007. The locals had been patiently waiting, numerous bouquets of flowers arrived to congratulate us, people showed up with items of memorabilia from the old restaurant wanting to give it back, which was really touching. In our first week we cooked over a thousand meals - yes I think we were missed and we are glad to be back.
We are open seven days a week 7:am - 3:pm. Starting March 1st we will be opening for dinner Thurs. - Sun. Featuring as always, quality food at a fair price served with a smile.
Written by Jennifer White