Joining the downtown YMCA has provided a healthy financial boost for a longtime Sioux Falls business. Just a few months ago, Roy and Bobbi's Cafe, a staple of the breakfast and lunch crowd, appeared to have served its last meal. But a change of address,of just a few blocks, has made all the difference.
Sometimes you don't have to travel far to really go places. Roy Toole said, "Bobbi and I both maintain that God closes one door and he opens up another one."
When Roy and Bobbi Toole opened the doors to their new cafe at the Sioux Falls YMCA this spring,they weren't really sure what to expect, having found success for so long at another downtown location... only to have that labor of love slip away. Bobbi Toole said, "Scary at first, but I used to work for the phone company, so change has been part of my life for forty years."
For more than 14-years, Roy and Bobbi served meals at their old cafe located in the basement of the Security Building at 9th and Main. Roy Toole said, "People came into the old place, all we could do is look at them and if they were all wet, we knew that it was raining."
But renovations forced the Tooles out of the building and out of business. "It hurt to leave, it kind of grabbed a hold of both of us, we went back a while ago and looked at the building after they had gutted it, and neither one of us could go downstairs, we just didn't want any part of it."
The Tooles were in the midst of job hunting when they learned of a vacancy at the YMCA cafeteria just four blocks from their old place. They set up shop at the Y and suddenly their future seemed much clearer. "We got windows, we can see out!"
And the Tooles like what they see. Especially the extra space to make more food and serve more customers. Bobbi Toole said, "I have more room to do my baking and I make homemade wheat bread and the hamburger buns and cookies and occasionally pie, but usually there's not time in my day for that."
But the Tooles didn't start from scratch with their customer base. Regulars at their basement cafe simply followed them to the Y. Regular customer Karen Crew said, "Well, they had to move, so we just moved with them I guess."
Many of the Tooles' new customers include Y members who've worked up an appetite having finished working out. This mixture of old and new customers has kept business thriving. Roy Toole said, "Since we've been standing here, there's been four or five old customers who just walked in... and new ones!"
Roy and Bobbi have developed a loyal following by forging lasting friendships with many of their customers. Emerging from their old cafe in a basement proved to be a giant step up. "There's usually a light at the end of the tunnel, it's just hard to see."
Another feature Roy Toole brought to his cafe is a tribute posted on the wall to all of the South Dakotans who have died serving in the war in Iraq. Toole says he'd gladly take the place of any young family man stationed overseas.
Roy & Bobbi's Cafe
© 2007 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.