Editor’s note: This week, we profile the six winners of the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards.
After a 15 year hiatus in Ontario, Linda Smith came home to make new memories in her native Liverpool.
She started simply, opening Memories Café in 2012 with the goal of being a place for coffee and warm conversations.
And after years of work and innumerable memories, Smith and her team recently won the outstanding service award at the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards on Mar. 5.
“As an owner-operator of a small business with a small team in a small town, it’s hard work,” said Smith of the recognition.
“The award is a reminder of why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Since opening the café, which is located along Liverpool’s waterfront, Smith said she has enjoyed providing a gathering place for the community.
“All of the memories I had of growing up here were of places that were frequented by groups and groups of people,” she said. “Community was so important for me coming back.”
Upon returning to town, Smith said she immediately noticed there wasn’t a place to congregate and teamed up with her mother-in-law Shirley to open a café.
She credits the business and her team, led by Jeffrey Whynot, with helping to incorporate herself back into the community.
When asked about the award, Whynot said it was a testament to the cafe’s impact on locals.
“I’ve been here for eight years and it’s been really good,” he said. “They’re a great bunch.”
And the business’s name is also a nod to the Liverpool area, originating from a book Smith discovered while cleaning out her parents house.
The book, Some Liverpool Chronicles, is filled with stories and black and white photographs of Queens County.
“I just remember thinking about all of the memories in the book and it just came to me,” said Smith, adding that the book is still on display in the café.
The tone of the book, in conjunction with her own childhood memories, solidified Smith’s goal to make the business a gathering place for the community.
And given that the café is in its eighth season, Smith expressed thanks for her hometown’s continued support in making new memories.
“It’s really nice at this stage to get recognized,” she said.