Maple Creek News
Name-calling isn’t exactly what the Maple Creek News is all about, but every once in a while there is an exception. And just down the road in Tompkins, one couple not only doesn’t mind it, they are actually quite proud to be dubbed, well, idiots.
Kathleen and Raul Loyola are the new owners of 2 Village Idiots Caphe’, and while they hardly fit the bill, the catchy name seems quite good for business.
“We were thinking when we first took over that we would change the name, but the first three days we were here, we had people coming in from (various places) around the country and they all said the same thing: ‘The only reason we stopped is because we had to see what kind of restaurant would have that name’ — they’d want to know who the two idiots were.”
Being anything but what the name suggests, the couple knows anything that can draw people in off the highway is a bonus, and now they simply embrace the moniker, proudly announcing their ‘idiocy’ to anyone who asks.
“If they say they’d like to meet the two idiots, we just laugh and say, ‘That’s us.’”
Kathleen is from Calgary, while Raul is from Mexico City. The pair met and fell in love while she was attending bible school in Mexico a few moons ago. They have now been married and living in Canada together for 22 years.
They had three children together — two of whom are graduated high school and on their own, while one is eight years old and home with them. Though both came from big cities, they moved to Claresholm when their first was born and have enjoyed the rural life ever since.
Most recently, the couple was living in Wapella, Sask. but decided to make the move to Tompkins when Kathleen’s sister, who had first opened 2 Village Idiots Caphe’ with her husband, decided to sell.
“They did really well, and the community really liked them, and they enjoyed it here,” Kathleen says. “But they are close to retiring age, so they headed off to B.C., and we had been looking for a place to start a restaurant ourselves.
“The timing just worked out.”
Both worked in other industries but have past restaurant experience and had been throwing the idea around for a few years. They love rural living and had heard nothing but good things about the town.
Kathleen says the couple has kept much of the antique, rustic decor the same, as patrons seemed to like things as they were, and if it ain’t broke… The menu is basically the same as well, except for an added authentic Mexican flair courtesy of Raul.
And as it turns out, being the only full restaurant in a town of just 170 can be a pretty good thing for business.
“The great thing about it is our location is only two minutes off the highway, so we get a lot of people in off the highway just travelling through,” she says. “We have some signage on the highway.”
The close proximity of towns in southwest Saskatchewan gives small businesses in each a chance to draw patrons from other communities, which Kathleen says is something they see quite often at 2 Village Idiots Caphe’.
“Quite a few people from Maple Creek have come out here. Shaunavon, Piapot, Swift Current, even Medicine Hat.”
Brunch is every other Sunday throughout the winter months, as well as a buffet every other Wednesday. When spring returns, both will be every week again.
The restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except for Saturdays and every other Sunday, and also caters birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas parties and more.
“We’re really enjoying it,” Kathleen says. “We’re going to try to reach out to surrounding towns to grow the business. And we’d like to help grow the town as well, because people want to see Tompkins grow.
“The people here are really nice and friendly, and they’ve been very receptive to us being here. The town has really embraced us and encouraged us to continue on.”
Kathleen and Raul Loyola moved to Tompkins from Wapella a couple of months ago to take over the 2 Village Idiots Caphe’ from Kathleen’s sister, who moved to B.C.