Second Generation Management of "A Family Favorite”
The Little Beaver Restaurant located in the Village of Komoka, (area pop 5,000) located 20 minutes west of London, Ontario, lives up to the definition of the original French language term "restaur," as in "to provide food for" - or "literally to restore to a previous state."
Today, the second generation of Marc St. Jacques and his wife Nicole are continuing Nicole's late father's dream of creating a family-focused restaurant for locals and travelers in central Middlesex County. The couple has two children ages nine and five.
Little Beaver Restaurant is now 40 years old. Ten years ago Marc and Nicole continued the family tradition of restoring patrons with a full stomach. Their business success formula is serving generous portions of home cooked meals and desserts.
A recent Trip Advisor review of the 120-seat full-service restaurant, employing a staff of 52 servers and cook staff of fresh never frozen menu items, sums up the Little Beaver's customer popularity. The review is titled “A family favorite ” TripAdvisor: Reviewed 24 August 2016 via mobile
"My wife and her family have been visiting "The Beav" (what locals call it) for years. She introduced it to me two years ago, and I immediately fell in love. The place is always busy, which after you eat there you will understand why. The food is homemade; service is great, and prices are reasonable. Great portions too! I LOVE the "Little Beaver" burger. The house made coleslaw is amazing too. They also have amazing homemade desserts like butter tarts and pies and scoop up some great ice-cream too on those hot summer days. Always looking forward to our next visit!" Visited August 2016
"Breakfast is a popular menu item with us. We peel fresh potatoes for our home fries made from scratch. We also make our popular French Fries by hand as we do for our mashed potatoes for a home styled meal. Our customers tell us they love it and we enjoy knowing that we put our best products and labour into making their menu choice", says Marc.
"Our best seller is our bacon and eggs from 6:00-11:00 AM. We do a strong lunch volume, and our most popular item is our Beaver Burger at lunch. The Beaver Burger is two patties of fresh hamburger meat with lots of cheese and the works on it". It is popular menu item all day actually," says Marc.
"Our club sandwich is a close second. Another popular menu item with our guests is out roast beef dinner. We make everything fresh each day, including our bread and bakery items.
We roll our own pastry here and customers know that every day we bake fresh. We get a lot of comments from customers about our fresh daily menu. If I had to point to one thing that makes us successful is our attention to fresh. Fresh daily ingredients and our staff efforts to create a home cooking reputation around our menu items. Our focus on fresh, homemade makes all the difference in my mind."
My business strategy for the future is to maintain the way it is now. We have five chefs working in the kitchen, and our staff put a lot of labour into keeping everything fresh, and tasty as if you made it in your kitchen".
"We currently do not have a website or social media accounts. We receive recognition and customer appreciation for our Charity Dinner for the Salvation Army. The staff donates their time. We highlight and use a lot of local products and customer input gives us feedback on what they like. We make sure to give the customers what they want."
"Our restaurant layout is a mix of booths and tables. In the center area are six tables seating up to eight, so families can share a meal together.
We feature a lot of local history photos and community graphics on the walls. The community of Komoka developed from an old railway town, and we are located on Highway 16 near the Highway 14 intersection, so we get travelers from all over the county."
"Our success is mainly because we listen to what customers are saying. They keep me posted on what is happening and what we should be doing", says Marc.
"Ever since we joined with UNIPCO and Flanagan ( Food Distributor) we have enjoyed success and quality. We are impressed with what the partnership between UNIPCO and Flanagan has done to contribute to our success".