Everyday for the last 40 years, Charlene Schultz opens for business at 4:00 a.m.
Her place, Charlene’s Diner, is a main attraction along Main Street in Jewett City.
Today, she’s celebrating four decades of service.
“For someone that never graduated from high school,” said Schultz. “It’s just being a hard worker and I did it.”
And on this day, and everyday, it’s about family. Charlene has her daughter, grand-daughters and great-grandchildren by her side as she leads four generations at the diner.
“My mom died when I was young and I always said that I wouldn’t be over bearing,” Schultz said. “But I said I would be there for them.”
Her grand-daughter Brittany Marquis, who is a third-generation owner, beams when she talks about the diner.
“I think it’s truly an accomplishment, I mean how many people can say that they have been in business for 40 years,” smiled Marquis. “I’m proud of it, proud of my grandma and proud of my family.”
And while people fill up on breakfast and lunch, they take away so much more than that as this diner is the pure fabric of the community.
“Camaraderie,” chirped regular Carlton Stone. “You run into different people or the same people all the time, say how’s it going, what’s going on, ya know, that’s how we stay in touch.”
And customer Roger Ducharme chimed in saying, “we have a good breakfast and most of the time have a good conversation, ha ha.”
For Schultz, building the diner and to be able to celebrate 40 years hasn’t always been easy as it took a lot of sacrifice which makes it all worthwhile.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world,” reflected Shultz.