Red Clover Cafe and Creamery has opened in East Thetford in the former home of Isabell’s Cafe. Janet and Tom Call spent the last twelve months renovating the property after buying it from Bev and Don Hodgdon last summer.
Red Clover’s sandwich menu will be available Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm, while their ice cream window, featuring Wilcox’s ice cream made in Vermont, will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 2 to 9 pm and Sundays from 1 to 8 pm.
Janet and Tom were busy on opening day (Thursday, July 7, 2022) with a steady stream of customers. “I live within walking distance,” one customer remarked to Janet. “I had to come try the ice cream.”
The cafe is licensed to seat up to 50 people, including indoor and outdoor seating. The weather was perfect on Thursday, and most people chose to sit under the umbrellas on the spacious new deck or in designated areas under the shade of nearby trees.
Bev and Don were there helping on opening day. “It’s bringing back memories,” Bev said as she carried an order out to the deck. “No one tells you how busy you’ll be once you retire, but they asked for help on their first day, and we said yes.”
Bev approves of the renovations and said Janet and Tom are doing a great job. She likes the change in style and decor. Customers will also likely be able to purchase Bev’s pies through Red Clover. Bev’s maple cream pie was on the menu opening day.
Sidenote writers purchased two sandwiches and two fruit smoothies. We agreed that the ingredients were super fresh and the sandwiches were flavorful. The smoothies were sweet and genuinely fruity. Overall, the food quality was excellent and compared very favorably —or even surpassed —the offerings of other cafes and restaurants in the Upper Valley. The most popular item of the day was the broccoli side salad, which sold out.
The indoor seating area also doubles as an art exhibition, meeting one of the objectives of the Red Clover Cafe: to recognize local artists. It’s currently hosting art from five Odanaksis/Little Village artists, plus art by Mary Chin, Ray Chin, and Jason Chin. Jason recently won the Caldecott Award, given by the American Library Association for the best illustrated children's book of 2022! The two-group show will run through July.
Red Clover uses quite a few local products. “It takes effort to make that happen,” Janet said. Their suppliers include Cedar Circle Farm, Wilcox Ice Cream, Bev and Don’s Pies, Free Verse Farm Herbal Teas, Mill House Coffee Roasters (NH), Red Door Baking, Herban Sprouts, Mamaboucha, Vermont Cookie Love, Vermont Fresh Pesto, Long Wind Farm, Cabot Creamery, Herb Craft Soda, Vermont Butter and Cheese, and Maplebrook Mozzarella.
Photo credits: Nick Clark and Li Shen