Owning a diner has been Michelle James' lifelong dream … and working in the food industry is in her genes.
“Ruthie’s Diner,” inside Lord’s Department Store on Main Street, held its grand opening on Saturday, April 14, and the place was filled with excitement and the scent of chocolate chip pancakes.
James, along with her husband, Chris, her mom, Gloria and her daughter, Bailey and employees, Emily and Maggie were working together on their first day of business preparing breakfast and chatting with customers.
Andy from Millis, a customer that came early to try out the new diner said, “this place is immaculate ... the food is excellent … and fresh cut French fries, how can you beat that? Having this will be nice now that Friendly’s is gone.”
Many customers were sitting at the lunch counter, but one young family from Millis was sitting at a small table enjoying their breakfast. Zoe was having bacon while her brother, Dawson, was enjoying some of those famous chocolate chip pancakes.
The James family has a long history of food related careers. In addition to Michelle opening this diner, Chris James used to be a chef at Ma Glockner’s in Bellingham, his mother-in- law Gloria, used to own “Clucks” in Milford (and Michelle worked there in her high school days) and daughter, Bailey is considering studying culinary arts at Blackstone Valley Reg. Vocational Technical High School with hopes of carrying on this family tradition.
Gloria is a familiar face in Medfield, especially to those who get their haircuts next door at the Medfield Barber Shop. She will continue to work at Medfield Barber part time, and on her “off days” she will be helping Michelle at Ruthie’s Diner.
Lord’s Department Store owners, Nancy Kelly Lavin, and her brother, Tom Kelly, were both extremely excited about the grand opening of the new diner.
“We think this diner will be really great and will create a buzz within the store. I’m sure her business will help ours”, said Kelly.
Said Kelly Lavin: “Her work ethic is outstanding. Her enthusiasm for food and her love of food presentation are just some of the things she brings to this new diner. The day my brother and I confirmed that Michelle would take over the fountain, she asked if she could put up a banner reading – 'Ruthie’s Diner, Coming Soon' – that alone gave us such a positive feeling.”
Both Lord’s owners are also excited about the old fashion soda fountain returning. In addition to the breakfast and lunch menu, Ruthie’s will offer Banana Splits, Hot fudge sundaes, Frappes, Milkshakes, Root Beer Floats, Lime Ricky’s, Cherry Cokes and more.
Another young family enjoying a morning at Ruthie’s Diner was Jack and Lilly McCormick along with their Mom, Erin. After having a Frappe and a blueberry muffin for breakfast, Lilly rated the Diner a “1,000 plus.”
Ruthie’s Diner is named for Michelle’s grandmother, Ruth Evelyn Stanley Sannicandro. She proudly held up her "gramma's" photograph along with “the story of Ruthie’s Diner.”
Patrons stopping by to taste some of the delicious homemade items on the menu will not be disappointed as the new diner would surely make "Gramma Ruthie" proud.