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New ‘Leona’s Cafe' to open April 25 in downtown Digby

Leona Willman owns and operates Leona’s Cafe on Carleton St. in Digby, which opens Apr. 25. She cooked for 33 years at the Digby Regional Hospital, and says cooking is her passion.
Leona Willman owns and operates Leona’s Cafe on Carleton St. in Digby, which opens Apr. 25. She cooked for 33 years at the Digby Regional Hospital, and says cooking is her passion.

DIGBY, NS – There’s a new cafe in town called Leona’s, and it’s looking good.

The cafe is located on Birch Street and is run by Leona Willman. It'll open bright and early Apr. 25 at 6:30 a.m.

Leona retired four years ago after 33 years as a cook at the Digby General Hospital and is finally realizing her dream of owning a cafe.

Willman cooks for many people on a regular basis and said it was a natural step to start cooking for her own business. She also needed to get back into work mode.

“Retirement was not for me. I find sitting at home in a chair makes you old, and I’m not ready to do that,” she said.

Leona’s will open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The cafe will offer quick grab-and-go meals in addition to a relaxing sit down atmosphere

The cafe’s menu will offer many different options, all of which will be home cooked. Sandwiches and salads will be offered daily and different soups, subs and daily specials will rotate. Sweeter goodies and homemade break and biscuits will also be offered in addition to tea, coffee and bottled drinks.

Every food item will be cooked on site. Willman said she’s aiming to please everyone, but most of all Digby’s working professionals.

“If you have a half hour for lunch, our set up should work that you can come in, grab your dinner, and go,” she said.

Free wifi will also be available for those customers looking to pull up a chair and park it for a while.

“If you want to come in and sit down, we offer that relaxed atmosphere as well. It’s good for both.”

“Retirement was not for me,” says Willman, who’s dreamed of opening a cafe for many years. Her dreams are now a reality.

The cafe will also take larger orders in advance, such as cooking a pan-sized meal for a family of four. Orders must be placed and picked up before 2:30, when the cafe closes.

Willman said cooking is a passion of hers, and has been excited over the last few days as everything’s been falling into place.

“I haven’t been able to sleep for days. It’s not stress – I’m not stressed about opening, it’s rather that I’m excited.”

The cafe is one of many new businesses that have recently opened in Digby. Willman sees this as good news for everyone.

“Everytime you see a new business opens, it’s a happy place. It means good business for the town, that’s how I look at it,” she said.

While she hopes to draw locals and tourists, Willman knows her cafe will be a great new spot for locals looking to grab a quick bite or to sit down with friends.

While Willman doesn’t have a favourite dish to cook, she certainly has a favourite reaction.

“When I cook something that puts a smile on somebody’s face, that’s my favourite thing to make,” she said.

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