Just as they hit their stride in the city’s historic downtown core, whose renewal Kaleigh Stobbe cites as facilitating a new wave of area development, the Wildflower Café is closing.
The building’s owners have decided to sell, giving the café’s ownership notice to vacate.
Due to a staff shortcoming, they’re shutting down a bit earlier than their three-month notice dictated, and are hosting a "Come Cry with Us" farewell party featuring live music on May 25, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Stobbe, who owns the café along with her family — who also run the Lady of the Lake shop, café and pub north of the tracks at 135 17th St. North — said that it’s sad to think that the Wildflower Café won’t be around to contribute to a continued downtown renewal.
"It just feels like momentum’s getting going," she said, adding that they’ve just recently developed a steady crowd of downtown people who have come to depend on the café for their lunch breaks every day.
Since announcing their impending closure on social media earlier this month, staff have received an outpouring of support, manager Shannon Skidmore said, adding that they’ve received countless phone calls and positive comments, as well as various bouquets of flowers.
"It’s nice to know that we did something that people will miss," she said.
Some customers have already asked staff to prepare several copies of their favourite dish in order to freeze, Stobbe said.
The Wildflower Café opened five years ago this September out of a love for the historic building and a desire for something interesting to take up shop that would invite people into the unique space, Stobbe said.
Living nearby, Stobbe said that she’d loved the building for years before opening the Wildflower Café, watching another café operate in the space before shutting down, followed by a Mexican restaurant doing the same.
In 2012, Stobbe said that her family was finally in a good place to do something with the space and are proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish since that time.
"We feel like, through the five years we’ve been here, it’s really started to feel like a community for us," she said, adding; "We’ve definitely noticed an increase in people."
It’s been a "beautiful building to work in," Stobbe said, adding that their regular clients have also helped make coming into work a fun experience.
Stobbe said that the Wildflower Café’s trademark juices would continue to be sold at Lady of the Lake alongside some of their other best-known items, but that she recognizes it won’t be the same.
The atmosphere they were able to create at the Wildflower Café’s historic space at 908 Rosser Ave. is not something that she said could be replicated.
» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB