BY ANGELINA MARTIN
When you put good food and family together, nothing else matters.
That’s the motto at Turlock’s newest breakfast spot, My Garden Café, made apparent by the sound of forks scraping on plates and the sight of the family photos that adorn the restaurant’s walls. Stanislaus State alumna Lisa Welch decided to bring her sixth My Garden Café location to Turlock, which opened its doors last week, for one reason, she said: the people.
“I just felt like this town is our jam — the people that are in Turlock are just like our core customer base at other locations and it felt like it would be a good fit,” Welch said. “They’re farmers, and people that are doing things for the Valley. It doesn’t feel like there are a lot of commuters or people that are transplants; it feels homegrown and that’s what we’re about.”
Welch’s family came to California from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl decades ago, and My Garden Café’s cuisine is inspired by the down-to-earth, comfort food of her heritage. From chocolate gravy served over biscuits — a staple on farms back in Oklahoma, Welch said — to fresh corned beef hash, Welch’s restaurants in Modesto, Ceres, Ripon, Sonora and now Turlock serve Okie food the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
“Anything you want for breakfast, we have it,” Welch said.
Welch grew up around the restaurant business, as her parents owned eateries when she was young. As a student, she worked in a restaurant until she ultimately saved up enough money to open up her first My Garden Café location in Ripon back in 2003. The business endeavor has since grown to be a family affair, with Welch working alongside her nieces, sister, cousin, best friend and even family members of different friends.
That family environment has evolved to envelop not only Welch, her employees and the restaurant’s food, but the community who eats there as well.
“The people have been so great and so welcoming,” Welch said. “It’s a family atmosphere, and that’s the most important part of the business.”
Type of business:
Breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant
1501 Geer Rd., Turlock
6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Sunday
Chocolate gravy, homemade jams and oven-roasted meats