Manon Amyot worked in the restaurant industry for a lifetime. She can be spotted working her chip truck with her business partner, or serving up fries at the Clarence Creek Arena cantine. For those with a longer memory, her old restaurant, Country Frizzle, in Wendover was once popular for its breakfast and fried chicken.
In 2019, when Amyot opened her newest endeavour, Mom’s Kitchen in Clarence Creek, nothing could prepare her for the difficulties she would face just few months later.
“We opened just a few months before COVID,” said Amyot. “I decided to close because I had three grandchildren going to school. I didn’t want to go through all the rules and regulations either.”
Amyot’s grandchildren were integral to the restaurant’s operation, with the eight-year-old working the till and the 11-year-old serving and clearing tables on the weekends, and without the extra help and to keep her family safe, Amyot hung up the apron until the storm passed.
Throughout the lockdowns, loosening of restrictions and return to lockdowns, Amyot never lost faith that Mom’s Kitchen would reopen. She started working night shifts at the RiverRock Inn to keep the mortgage payments going out.
“I was sure to keep making money,” said Amyot. “Because I just wanted to keep things going and keep it a part of the community.”
And her gamble paid off.
Amyot opened the doors to Mom’s Kitchen for the first time in two years in November, and the customers are flooding back in for her cozy and comfortable breakfasts.
Construction teams working in the housing developments, families visiting the Residence Roger Seguin, people waiting for their cars at the autobody shop down the street and just family from around Clarence Creek make up her clientele, adding to the come-as-you-are, all-are-welcome atmosphere.
“They are coming in from all over Clarence-Rockland,” said Amyot.
Still, the pandemic looms heavily. In order to future-proof Mom’s Kitchen, Amyot is working on building her catering service, but she wants to keep her home-style kitchen open to everyone in the community, so she is not putting an end to serving up Mom’s breakfast any time soon.