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Caf opening a family effort
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Laurel Dalzell and her parents Kevin and Pam Padillo made the caf a team effort for them. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Laurel Dalzell is seeing a longtime dream come true with the opening of her vintage café Friday morning at the downtown Ripon corner of Main Street and Stockton Avenue – just around the corner from the fire department headquarters.

Laurel’s Vintage Café is starting out with six employees to ensure their patrons will not have to wait to be served during the lunchtime crunch that will soon include the high school noontime crowd coming in August.  At 30 she is easily recognized by her endless smile toward her customers and staffers.

Her parents Kevin and Pam Padillo have always been there for their children and the opening of the new café embodies that family support and spirit.  Dad accomplished all the restoration in the corner restaurant that took about a month in his non-stop project.  Most recently the site was the home of the Corner Eatery and before that it was the popular Cups Cafe.  Her father took up the old floor tile and used a power sander on the uneven concrete base for ease of installing a new floor.  Old timers in the community remember the corner as a busy drug store.

Laurel was home schooled by her educator mom except for one year in third grade at the school where her mom taught.  Obviously she excelled,  going on to Ohlone College in Fremont where she majored in church ministries with proficiencies in music.  She has one brother and a sister who will be working with her in the café making fresh breads each morning before the doors open for business.

Her mom learned to cook years ago on an old Wedgewood stove at their home in Southern California and it will be added to memorabilia in the café.  Laurel displayed an early knack for cooking at her mother’s side, including their best in pastries which will be featured in her café daily.  During the last week the family was busy stocking their kitchen with everything they will need to operate the café.

Laurel and her husband Parry have five young boys from six months to nine years.  Up until the planning of the restaurant, she taught string music lessons to some 40 of her students.  Now she is offering her style of home cooking for Ripon residents,  starting with specialized breakfasts and lunches all prepared in her café and including meat loaf sandwiches.   They will also be offering Espresso drinks and milk shakes

Prior to opening the café she enjoyed her own private party catering.

Lola Gabrielson, who worked in the Other Corner Eatery has returned to work for Laurel, knowing many of the former customers by their first names.