Dave’s Diner is a staple in Perth County and a couple months ago we dropped the veil on the man behind the diner – Dave himself (see article here). As Dave and the team continue to impress with their famous eats, we thought we’d dive deeper into the magic behind those big red doors of the popular Sebringville spot.
You’ve probably seen Dave whipping up orders in the back or may have even seen him in his recent Facebook videos, but the success of the diner extends far beyond just himself. From the loyal customers, to dedicated employees, friends and family, nobody has given more heart and soul than Nadine, Dave’s wife, sidekick and confidant. You likely recognize her as a familiar and friendly face from over the years, heard about her cakes, craved her baked goods and have most certainly seen her keeping your coffee cups full. Nadine has been along for the ride since day one and is a key player in making Dave’s Diner what it is today – a place we all call home!
We asked Nadine a question that has been spiralling in our minds, the one where we want to know her reaction when she first heard about Dave’s plans for the diner. Her answer was not surprising at all! With a jovial and fun voice she told us that her response was none other than, “sure, why not?” Knowing that Dave was not only talented, but passionate as well, Nadine’s agreement rolled off her tongue with a sense of ease. She explained how Dave’s secret ingredient isn’t just his infamous spice, but it’s his love of cooking mixed with the loyalty of his family.
With the simple words of “let’s start a diner,” Nadine knew she’d have to wear many hats and many she did: mother, wife, manager, bookkeeper, waitress and even dishwasher. Their children, Jesse and Lexie were also always in tow waiting tables, cleaning dishes and helping with odd chores. Although running a business is thrilling, it takes a lot of work and commitment – but the more work you put into something, the more you get. Nadine’s favourite part of it all is knowing that they built the spirit of the diner together, as a family.
Over the years, many memories have been etched into stone, but a few stand out as though they happened yesterday. Nadine explains that her favourite memory is the Pink Tutu Day to raise money for the cancer clinic in London on behalf of their good friend Cathy. The fundraiser proved that they could make an impact beyond their day-to-day. Offering tasty eats to the ‘hangry’ the ‘nibblers’ the ‘coffee drinkers’ the ‘hungover’ and the ‘regulars’ is worth every single early morning, but being able to give back to the community is the moment where everything is truly worth it.
Family runs through the veins of the diner, and with family being the new customers, the old customers, the friends, the employees – related and non-related, it just makes sense that patrons have been coming back year after year. There’s a certain vibe, a hum and sense of belonging that one can find at a place that isn’t riddled in drone-like corporate culture. So if you’re looking for something to do, are craving some homemade food or just need a spoonful of family love — #drivetodaves.
Creative Consultant, editor and writer