Hi, my name is Rachel and I'd like to tell you about my restaurant, and gift shop.
This all began in 1987 when my Grandma Gladys opened Mar-Je Floral and Gift Shop in the old Shopland Grocery Store building at 70th and West Main. The shop was small then, but by 1991 it had to be enlarged because Grandma was so busy.
I was born in 1994 and my Grandma was so proud of me that she kept me at the flower shop with her when my mom, Pattie, went back to teaching. That's when I first started learning the flower business. Back then Grandma would tie me onto a tall stool (so I wouldn't fall), give me some flowers, and teach me how to arrange flowers.
In 1995, Mom and Grandma got their heads together and decided Belleville needed a special luncheon restaurant. My Grandma of course thought it should be named after me. So my mom, dad (his name is Larry) and Grandpa Don agreed.
Rachel's Garden opened in the balcony overlooking Mar-Je Floral in December of 1995. As a toddler, I greeted people when I was there and pretty much thought I was the boss. (Secretly, I still think I'm the boss!) I've been featured in the paper and been on TV a few times - that's been pretty cool. Sometimes on weekends and holidays I work as a hostess.
On December 31, 1997, I got a new brother. His name is Nathan. He likes to make things too. He loves to help my Grandma bake cakes, cheesecakes and pies in the baking kitchen. When he can he helps my Grandpa fix things. (But I know his favorite thing to do is annoy his older sister.)
We moved to our new location in September of 1999. My Grandpa Don worked really hard to remodel the building. We grew from seating for 50 people to now 130 people. Now that really keeps everyone busy!
Nathan and I got a new sister in March of 2002. Her name is Sarah. Since she's the baby of the family, she's really spoiled. Sometimes you'll see her in an apron helping mom and grandma too. We named a salad after her so she wouldn't feel left out - it's become the most popular salad we serve.
Since I'm in high school, my mom, grandma and grandpa will be taking care of you. I hope you enjoy your visit here and I'll see you on my days off from school.
See you around,