PORT HAWKESBURY: After working for 18 years as the head cook and manager of The Rusty Anchor in Pleasant Bay, Marcella Timmons is looking to offer the people of Port Hawkesbury and surrounding areas a new option when it comes to eating out.
“It’s not even three months, and we’re really happy with the support from the community,” Timmons said, meeting with The Reporter about an hour before the Treasure Trove Diner opened last Friday.
“I always told my kids if the opportunity came up, I’d open my own restaurant.”
Timmons, who runs the business with her partner Jason Boudreau, said she is very pleased with the restaurant’s reviews since opening last May.
“If you want to get ahead in life, you can’t let being nervous stop you,” she said. “It’s like I always tell my kids: don’t be afraid to go out and explore the world, and if you fail, you learn from it. It’ll only make you stronger.
“It’s a chance me and Jason were willing to take, and the community and surrounding area has been really helpful.”
Timmons is originally from Bay St. Lawrence, and Boudreau is from Arichat. Their roots in coastal communities influenced the restaurant’s decor.
Treasure Trove, which is at the same site as the former Big Bite Pizza and Greco Pizza/Captain Sub, is hardly recognizable inside. The owners have gone with a nautical theme, including fish nets and a large aquarium.
The most noticeable change is the increase in floor space. This was achieved by removing some booths that previously sat in the middle of the floor, dividing the ordering area from the dining room. The counter has also been pushed back, making the whole area far more functional.
“The floor took me a while,” Boudreau said. “I had to rip it up and right in the middle of the door were rock tiles. I broke all that up, had to chip everything off with a chip hammer, and once the floors were put down, I had to sand them, stain them, and wipe them.”
Timmons’ son, Dylan, came up with the name. The logic is that people are unaware of exactly what they’ll get in a treasure trove, but know they’re in for a treat.
“A lot of people said the town needs another family restaurant, and we pursued it,” Boudreau said. “We contacted the people who own the building, and we went from there. We love it.”
“The way I look at it is that by opening this business, we produce jobs for a few people,” Timmons said. “To keep the doors open, we make sure we have good food and good service. We take the extra steps to make everybody happy. I don’t want anybody going away hungry.”
It’s a philosophy Timmons learned when working at The Rusty Anchor. If tourists arrived at 10 p.m. and were hungry, you did your best to make sure they left happy.
“It’s like your neighbour wanting a cup of tea,” she said. “You say come on over.”
Being good to the community is something Timmons said she wants to do, which will include supporting things like Christmas Daddies and the breakfast program at Tamarac Education Centre.
“If we don’t give back to the community, then the community won’t support us,” she said.
When it comes to the menu (check out specials on Wacky Wednesday and Flashback Friday) there’s a little something for everybody.
Steaks and seafood have both gotten great reviews, with Boudreau saying he’s heard an awful lot of good comments on the red meat side. Timmons said that’s true, but the seafood choices have also been garnering several thumbs up.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and both owners say they’re looking forward to seeing new faces.