Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Family Favorite Restaurant In Business For 25 Years





John and Judy Archibald
(Petitcodiac Special)

Written By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock


John and Judy Archibald are the owners of the Family Favorite Restaurant on the Homestead Road just east of Petitcodiac, N.B.. They purchased it on November 9, 1979. As Judy reflected over the past 25 years she stated, "We have served well and the business has served us well!"

Judy was born in Lower Ridge, Havelock to Ford and Lillian Black. She went to school in Havelock and later in Petitcodiac. There she met John Archibald. November 28, 1969 Judy and John were married.

They both worked in the Petitcodiac area. John worked as a mechanic and pumped gas for Fred Buchannan's Esso station. At that time the station was situated where the vacant Blueberry Shop stands on the Homestead Road.

Judy worked at the Esquire Restaurant (now occupied by S.P.O.T.) for Reed and Stella Ogilvie. Then she moved on to work for the Newcomes at their restaurant. It was known then as Newcomes Restaurant, then changed hands and renamed Chatters.

Today it has been converted over to a private home. All the while Judy worked she dreamed of one day having her own restaurant.

Judy and John, like many other Maritimers, thought things could get better if they moved West. The summer of 1979 they packed their worldly possessions, their little son, John Jr. and the cat, in the motorhome and headed West.

Upon arriving they stayed with friend Donny Perry, who lived in Calgary. Later they moved on to Fort McMurray and visited with Richard McFee and Terry Chambers. It wasn't long before they realized that in order to secure a good job a trade was needed, and neither had one. Not to mention the ailment that besets many a Maritimer, the longing for home and family. Once again the motorhome was packed, minus the cat, and was eastward bound.

Two months from the time they had left New Brunswick, they rolled into John's mother, Bernice Archibald's back yard on Church Street, Petitcodiac, N.B.. John recalls that winters stay in his mother's back yard and in the motorhome, how they nearly froze to death.

John soon set about finding a restaurant to buy and to fulfill Judy's dream. He talked to Ernie McLean about buying his Big M Restaurant and he also talked to Howard and Eleanor Wright who wanted to sell their Family Favorite Restaurant. After much consideration John and Judy decided upon the Family Favorite Restaurant. With help from the Federal Development Business Bank in Moncton, John and Judy became the new owners of The Family Favorite Restaurant.

The restaurant had been built by two carpenters, Ross and Robert Prosser many years ago. Now it was in need of much repair. John recalls how he stripped it right down to the bare walls, then the task of rebuilding. New walls, windows, floors, roof, kitchen equipment and new diningroom furniture. It was just like new and ready to serve both new and old customers.

Looking back over the past 25 years, Judy said,

"I've worked hard, raised two sons, John Jr. and Michael John. I have many local customers from Salisbury, Petitcodiac, Havelock, Elgin and River Glade. I have tried to cater to my customers individual requests."

Judy added how one of her customers asked her to let them know when she was going on vacation, because they wanted only to come to her restaurant when she was there. Then with a twinkle in her eye and a big smile, Judy concluded by saying,
"I'd do it all over again!"

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