On today’s show we dive into the history of Idle Isle Cafe with Travis Porter. He is the owner of Idle Isle Cafe in Brigham City, Utah. This is a small cafe doing things right since 1921. One of their flagship dishes is the idle berry pie. If you are in the area, make the drive over to Idle Isle Cafe and check them out!
Idle Isle Cafe started in 1921. A local historian is quick to point out that they might not be the oldest restaurant in Utah, but they are the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Utah. P.C. Knudsen, and his wife Verabel, started a candy shop in the Brigham City area. Verabel’s brother, David H. Call and his wife came on board to help support a full service restaurant in addition to the candy shop. The cafe was born!
The restaurant is steeped in rich history. Celebrities such as John Wayne, Charlie Chapman, and Thurl Bailey have enjoyed a meal here. In addition to celebrities, locals have brought their kids and grandkids in over the year. Each time they experience the same home cooking and cheerful atmosphere that is so familiar at Idle Isle.
The cafe remained in the Call family until 1994. At this point Richard H. VanDyke was running the restaurant and the candy shop. Both businesses were busy and doing well. He sold the restaurant portion of the business to Travis’s in-laws so that he could focus on the candy shop full time. Travis came on board to help manage the business from 1998-2007 before taking an absence to pursue other things.
Travis and Family Return to The Business
Travis’s wife Jana was approached by her parents about buying them out of the business. They were wanting to retire and it was time for the next chapter of Idle Isle Cafe to begin. Jana was able to convince Travis, and in 2015 they took over as the next generation owners.
Travis and his wife have been actively involved in the business since then. There is a lot of history that has come through those doors. Travis is working hard to make sure their story is told and that history isn’t forgotten.
From the interview you can feel his passion for the business and how the customers have impacted him for the better. This is what business is all about folks! They aren’t in it to make a quick buck. They genuinely care about their customers and are determined to do things the right way. This includes Jana making pies by hand daily.
They don’t open a mix and add water. This is real-deal comfort food that can help you celebrate joyous occasions, as well as pick you up when mourning the loss of a loved one. It was an honor to talk with Travis and I can’t wait to make it in for my own slice of idle berry pie.
Where To Find Idle Isle Cafe?
About 50 miles north of the Salt Lake City, Utah, you will find Brigham City. As we discussed on the episode, it is a beautiful destination. They have several reservoirs, Golden Spike National Historic Park, Willard Bay and more. On top of that you can stop in and enjoy a slice of history in a restaurant that has been continuously operating for almost 100 years! You can find Idle Isle Cafe online here, and you can find their Facebook page here.
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