Messages like “memories from the past” and “family owned” are sprinkled along the wall of a popular Lake Country cafe.
The Wooden Nickel Cafe has been operating for nearly 30 years off Highway 97.
When undergoing a redesign, co-owner Diane Solski said she and her husband, Rick Wiley—who have owned the cafe for the last 15 years—couldn’t come up with an idea for a wall.
It was one of their customers, named Mel, who offered them a solution to their dilemma.
He said the restaurant should use the wall to tell people what the restaurant is all about.
That led the owners to turn to Facebook to seek out that feedback.
The messages are words the community has used to describe the cafe gathered from the restaurant’s social media page and with the help of Shelli Cohen, with Wood and Words, they created a design for the wall.
The cafe is bustling on the weekends, and in the mornings the seats fill with regulars who come in to enjoy a sandwich made with the Wooden Nickel Cafe’s specialty, it’s well-known sourdough bread.
Solski said many people keep coming back because everything is made in-house, with no preservatives and the community trusts that.
“We love it and we have a passion for our food and our people,” she said.
The cafe takes requests from seniors in the community, sometimes delivering their favourite meals if they’re unable to drive to the cafe.
A 97-year-old Kelowna man once couldn’t find a raisin pie anywhere, so Solski said they made one for him.
The cafe’s first owner, Sharon Hein, opened the cafe in 1990.
She continues to visit the restaurant as a customer, enjoying a meal with her friends on a Friday afternoon.
There was nothing in Winfield when she first opened the restaurant, Hein said, adding “if you put out a quality product, they’ll come.”
Customer Barb Ross said she and her husband will often split a meal, and they enjoy an ‘Andy Omelet’ and sourdough bread.
With a fresh coat of paint to accompany the wall, server Cheryl Wilson said the business is family oriented for both the 10-member staff and its customers.
“We get a lot of regulars every day, hence why the sign says ‘see you tomorrow’ because we see the same customers,” she said.
“If you haven’t tried it, come on in.”
The Wooden Nickel Cafe is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Editor’s Note: A previous edition of this story said the customer Mal suggested that the cafe shouldn’t be telling people what they do, but instead asking the customers for their opinions, which is incorrect. Mel is the customer’s name and his actual suggestion was to use the wall to tell customers about the cafe.