NEWTON – The Newton Market and Café, located at 10 E. Main St. in Newton, is a budding eatery in the northeast part of Cache Valley. The growing lunch crowd is a mix of locals, residents from Clarkston and Lewiston, truckers passing through and visitors from out of town.
Owners Joshua and Kristene May have been upgrading the market since they bought it 11 years ago. When the Mays happened on the store it was in bad shape. They bought it and slowly fixed it up.
Husband Joshua was from Ohio, Kristene was from a small town – well actually the outskirts of one – Dunbee, Michigan, population near 5,000.
“The market was pretty run down and the restrooms where pretty scary,” she said. “I came over to use the restroom when we were working on our house and almost fell through the floor.”
The first thing they did was clean it, rewire it and fix up the restrooms.
“When people came in and asked for something and I didn’t have it, I made a note and started to carry it,” May said. “As the customer base grew, we made more improvements.”
They started the café part of the market by introducing homemade Sloppy Joes using Kristene’s mother’s recipe. They quickly became a popular item, and still are.
“The whole restaurant thing was done by trial and error,” she said. “I had never worked in a restaurant before.”
Mays made the decision to keep prices low, mostly because Newton is a farming community and they wanted a place for people to gather.
They bought a gas grill, put it in the back and started cooking burgers and the menu expanded. They have a good selection of potato chips, adding a french fry cooker would take some major remodeling.
“The burgers are a big seller, but the grilled turkey, bacon ranch is right there with it,” May said. “Most days during the noon hour the place fills up.”
They make a lot of trips to town because they live in Newton. Not everyone delivers out there.
All of the May’s four children worked in the market/café.
“If the kids wanted money, they knew how to get it,” she said. “They all worked here.”
Some of the crowd is seasonal. The reservoir is draw in the summer. Things can get slow as the weather cools.
“I think this place is a benefit to the community,” May said. “I own the building, I don’t pay myself and anything extra goes into the business.”
When they bought the building she pictured people coming in the morning for coffee and staying to visit for a while.
“My goal was to make our meals affordable,” May said. “We have these ladies in their 70’s come in and sit, visit and giggle. I like having people like them come in.”
The tables have historic photos on them that tell the story of the north end of Cache Valley in the Golden Years. The photos are great conversation starters. The photos came from Walton Feed and the USU online web site.
Besides the cafe, the market offers a wide variety of snacks, drinks, and groceries.