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Posted on Mar 26, 2015

The Grainery under new ownership starting April 1

One of Quincy’s most popular eateries is changing hands next week.

Harriet and Dave Weber have sold The Grainery to longtime local residents Gena and Rick Westra. The Westras take over on April 1.

Despite the change in ownership, the coffee shop and eatery will continue to be The Grainery that people know and love, Gena said. Her goal is to have a smooth transition for both the staff and community, Gena said.

“I hope people will continue to support the business,” Harriet said.

The Webers opened The Grainery in what was formerly a Radio Shack five years ago.

A former teacher, Harriet jumped into the restaurant business, in part, as a way of giving back to the community after it had supported her family when her son became seriously sick. She had a sense of indebtedness to a community that stepped up in her family’s time of need, she said.

Harriet also wanted to create something special for the Quincy Valley — a coffee shop-style gathering space where people could go to talk and build community. She never had a business on her mind, she said, but rather something more personal and community oriented.

“I’m happy that it has proven to be a gathering place for people,” Harriet said.

Harriet decided to retire from the business after she became sick last summer. Earlier this year, she started thinking about who could take over for her, someone who would continue The Grainery’s tradition of serving fresh food in a home-like atmosphere.

That someone was right there in her kitchen.

Gena, who has been working for Harriet for almost three years, said she’s always enjoyed cooking for other people.

“It isn’t that I want to own a restaurant … but owning a place like The Grainery is better,” she said.
In The Grainery, Harriet and Dave have created an atmosphere of kindness where customers feel as if they are being welcomed into someone’s home, Gena said.

Eventually Gena will put her own flavor on the eatery; however, it will be done slowly “out of respect for Dave and Harriet and the community,” she said.

As for Harriet, she may be retiring from the food service business, but she still will be active in the community, including at the Reiman-Simmons House and the Quincy Valley Historical Society. She will even be back at times to help Gena with some catering jobs.

Harriet is confident Gena will carry on The Grainery’s tradition of bringing people together through food.

“I’m turning it over to somebody I know who wants to serve the community the way we did,” Harriett said.

 

— By Jill FitzSimmons, editor@qvpr.com

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