After 22 years the historic Pease Café is changing ownership to Jeanna Thompson, the daughter of Verla Nelson.
The change came about due to Nelson wanting to semi-retire and Thompson, who worked at the café previously, coming home from North Dakota because she wanted to keep the business in the family.
Thompson said running the restaurant is hard work but that she enjoys it. “I love to cook and I love to bake. I always have,” Thompson said.
Business is going well for the café according to Thompson. Customers are still traveling from the Twin Cities to sample the menu.
“It’s the food,” Thompson said. “We’re known for our hot beefs. Those are really good. We have roast beef every day except Friday. The main reason people come in here is for the dinners.”
While the restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and serves breakfast as well, the roast beef dinners are also available all day, even early in the morning.
Though customers come from far and wide the Pease Café also has a host of regulars, including a customer that comes in the morning to order a hot beef and a Mountain Dew and a group of farmers that comes in to drink coffee every morning before hitting the fields.
“They sit there and talk for a couple hours and sometimes we have to kick them out when it starts to get busy,” said Thompson with a chuckle.
When Thompson took over the café she said she did some redecorating to make the place more home-like and inviting.
Thompson has started to paint the front of the building and she added more antiques that compliment the trainsets lined along the dining area.
“When people walk in here I want them to feel like they’re going home. A lot of people say it’s like coming home to grandma’s cooking,” Thompson said.
While it’s been extremely busy, Thompson said she encourages more people to stop in for a bite to eat with friends and family.
“We try to treat all of our customers kind of like family when they come here,” she said. “I just like it when people come together. People don’t do that anymore; everybody’s always on their phone or whatever but here, you get people that are actually talking and meeting up with friends.”
Mark Wasson is an APG of East Central Minnesota freelance contributing reporter.