Tera Brooks and Brad Wilson purchased the Historic BC Café in Hazelton, BC from the Chan family in November 2010 and opened their doors to their first customer in February of 2011.
As the name would suggest, there is a rich history to the Café. Originally built in 1920, the Café has operated as both a hotel and brothel and has twice burned to the ground. Today, under the new owners you can still feel that history when you walk through the café doors.
The Historic BC Café is a quaint combination of historical charm coupled with modern technology. New equipment and counters add polish to the building.
Tera and Brad admit there are many challenges to owning a restaurant in the North; suppliers are few and far between and you have to manage your relationships with them carefully. When there are only one or two suppliers to choose from, it can be very costly and frustrating when you get poor service. In 2010, Tera and Brad had to close the café twice because propane deliveries were cancelled without notice in -22C° weather.
Now, with their first year nearly behind them, things are running smoothly at the Café.
Local food has been an extremely important addition to their menu. In a town where excitement comes in small doses, the Historic BC Café has created a new menu to add more variety and “change things up”.
“When using local food in the menu, you help build a self-sustaining community” says Brad, “It just makes sense”.
One of the most well-received menu specials at the Café is the food taste tests. Brad will prepare dishes with a combination of local and imported foods and allow customers to sample the difference. He says customers like to participate in their food buying decisions, and they feel involved in the Café. It may come as no surprise that in the taste test menu, local food always wins.
Running a restaurant in a town without a recycling depot is also challenging. Everything purchased comes in cardboard, but Brad and Tera do the best they can. Recycling is hauled Terrace or Smithers when they make a trip, and the Café supplies biodegradable take-out containers and utensils.
Modern thinking, combined with the history of Old Hazelton, ensures that the Historic BC Café is a frequented stop for visitors and long time customers alike.
The Historic BC Café
1630 Omineca St.