Melissa Wyness and Sean Ledoux enjoy the days when they see customers come to the North Star Diner looking around. They know that means they have been there before.
“When someone sits down and starts looking around, you know they are the old crowd,” stated Ledoux.
In late December, Wyness and Ledoux opened up a new vegan themed restaurant in the iconic DeMarco’s location along Algonquin Avenue.
After more than 80 years, the long-standing family restaurant/confectionary closed its doors for good in the fall of 2014.
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The food may be different but similar in some ways too.
“We even took the classic Italian soup and veganized that and it got approval from the DeMarcos,” said Ledoux.
The owners gained confidence from operating as a catering business and selling products at the North Bay Farmer’s Market before taking the jump to a permanent location on Algonquin Avenue.
That led to local business connections they are taking advantage of now.
“We want to walk the talk and when you see municipalities failing, taxes going up because not enough money stays in the community, North Bay is a prime example. So by supporting local farmers, we buy our sprouts locally, we buy greens locally, our cheese is made by a woman in town, it is money re-circulated locally,” he stated.
The duo is hoping the North Star Diner creates more of a local trend towards healthy eating.
While the nostalgia of the iconic building will never leave this property, Ledoux hopes this new look in a historic location will make the diner a cultural hub.
“We have already had a craft show which we will do once a season, music events as well and just a place for people to come hang out and enjoy the good food, an ambiance that is welcoming and conversation is struck up,” said Ledoux.
Ledoux says their next event is a Robbie Burns Night on January 24th which will feature veganized haggis.