Cafe changes hands, not service

By Beth A. Birmingham | Jun 28, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham The Thomaston Cafe is getting some renovations and will reopen July 1 under new ownership. From left, new co-owners Marci Molloy and Ryan Jones pose with past owners Herb and Eleanor Peters.

Thomaston — Long-time restaurateurs Herbert and Eleanor Peters are turning over the apron-strings of the Thomaston Cafe to new owners.

After 50 years in the business — 24 at the 154 Main St. establishment — the Peters are looking forward to spending some time relaxing and traveling. And they are not turning the cafe over to just anyone.

Ryan Jones takes the helm of the local eatery, bringing with him more than 15 years of experience — and continuing a friendship he started with Peters 20 years ago. He said he will keep Peters on the payroll so he can take a day off every now and then.

"When you enjoy it, it's not really work," said Jones about taking over the Thomaston Cafe. He has worked in many hotels and restaurants throughout the Midcoast, as well as Florida and Massachusetts.

From studying pastry arts in Austria to being banquet chef at the Samoset, Jones now will blend it all together to continue offering freshness to diners with locally grown and raised vegetables, chicken and beef from his Farmer Jones' Organics farm on Beechwood Street.

Set to reopen Tuesday, July 1, the Cafe is undergoing some renovations. Jones and partner Marci Molloy are busy painting, organizing and revamping the establishment, and dusting off some of the benches from the original Anderson Cafe from the 1920s that Peters had stored away.

Jones plans to utilize the farm-to-table concept to deliver fresh tastes to his diners. After selling nearly all his produce and beef to The Landings and Trackside Station last year, Jones is in the process of adding to his organic gardens. Asparagus, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic and kale are just a few of the items he is growing for use at the restaurant.

"I can't believe it has evolved to this," said Jones, adding "I never thought in a million years I'd have my own restaurant."

He will also bake four or five varieties of bread fresh daily and prides himself on his signature dessert, creme brulee.

All six heads of cattle at his farm have names. The three Holstein-Angus are Moose, Spot and Cocoa. Two babies, Hanz and Franz, are pinzgaures, calves raised strictly for beef. They each will get up to 3,000 pounds. And another cow aptly named Abel.

"We usually buy sets of cattle," said Jones. "But a farmer called and said 'I have a bull for you.' Thus the name."

The cafe will maintain its current title as Thomaston Cafe. It will be closed Mondays.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

Ryan Jones of Farmer Jones' Organics gives a special treat to Moose, Cocoa and Spot. They are three of six cows being raised on his farm to become menu items at his newest endeavor, Thomaston Cafe. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Vegetables and herbs galore are being grown at Farmer Jones' Organics as part of Ryan Jones' farm-to-table venture as he takes over Thomaston Cafe. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Ryan Jones leads Abel out of his shelter with a special treat of grain. Jones is raising cattle and growing vegetables and herbs at his Farmer Jones' Organics farm to supplement his farm-to-table menu as new owner of Thomaston Cafe. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
One of two pinzgaure calves at Farmer Jones' Organics shows its cuteness to the camera. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (9)
Posted by: Lloyd & Jenn Daniels | Jun 30, 2014 21:16

Marci & Ryan, Wishing you both much success!! Can't wait to come over for a cup of coffee... Lloyd, Jenn & April 

Posted by: Amelia Ronco | Jun 30, 2014 16:47

I am so happy that the Peters found a new set of hands so they can enjoy their time. Lots of love to you all and wonderful success.

Posted by: William Lohrman | Jun 30, 2014 16:10

Best of luck!

Posted by: Joanne L Richards | Jun 30, 2014 09:39

Looking forward to some great dinners.  Best wishes to all.


Posted by: Bill Packard | Jun 28, 2014 22:45

Herbert and I worked together at MId-Coast School of Technology many years ago.  I'm a meat and potatoes guy and Herbert was always pushing something on me for lunch that I had never heard of. It was always delicious and Herbert was a great teacher to his students.  His skill is leveraged not just with the Cafe, but through all the others that he shared his knowledge with.  Best wishes to all.

Posted by: Kendall Merriam | Jun 28, 2014 15:15

Best wishes to Herbert and Eleanor in their well-earned retirement!

Posted by: Susan Sinclair | Jun 28, 2014 13:05

Um, how cute, they name their soon to be bloody mess. People are so weird.

Posted by: Lee Ann Gauthier | Jun 28, 2014 09:54

Good luck Marci & Ryan

Posted by: Sandra Overlock | Jun 28, 2014 08:31

How nice the Thomaston Café lives on. 

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