Susan Todoroff adds a cafe
Vernia, former chef de cuisine at the Ravens Club, met Todoroff at the Selma Cafe, the weekly benefit breakfast for local food growers, where they both volunteer. (See Inside Ann Arbor, p. 11.) Vernia was looking for an easier job, "so I'd have more time for my pro-bono activities" (his name turns up in almost anything involving local sustainable agriculture). At the cafe, he says, "I'm down to about forty hours a week. That's kind of like half time for me." He's still on good terms with Ravens, where he hosts a monthly networking breakfast for farmers. He sometimes uses Todoroff's commercial kitchen in the evenings for his volunteer work.
The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and sort-of dinner, closing most days at 6. In early February, Susan was riding the rollercoaster of new restaurant ownership, learning how to reallocate her energies. She was having trouble keeping up with the demand for her baked donuts (they're made of an expensive spelt flour, which explains the $2.25 price, but they still sell out every day. She moved the opening back from 6:30 a.m. to 7. "I need the extra half-hour of sleep," she explains, "and we rarely get people before seven."