Home cooking from a simpler time

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444 Electric Avenue, Bigfork, MT
Open 6am to 3pm every day
(406) 837-7223

We heard the prevailing wisdom several dozen times: "Running a restaurant is really hard work and a tough way to make a living." After a year in the business we can confirm that the prevailing wisdom is correct. But clearly there's a reason that we continue to do it. And the reason is that we love it. We love the opportunity to create great food, to provide great service, to host happy customers who return regularly, and to work with a group of great people who share our ambitions.

Would we do it again? Yes, that's our plan. But first we want to make sure we have it right this time. Our food, our service, and our ambiance were pretty good when we opened, but they're notably better now. And they will be even better in the future. So when we're sure that Pocketstone I is as good as it can be, then we'll do it again.

David Vale, Co-owner

Finding a good place to eat can be a challenge. Don't get me wrong and think that I'm the picky sort of person where nothing is ever good enough, or quite right. Well, maybe I am, but that's beside the point. The important thing is that when we started the Pocketstone Café, I was determined that everything was going to be done right. And, to be honest, we still occasionally fall short in some respect, but not very often. And never falling short is the goal.

I have a fairly distant role at the Pocketstone, being an owner and frequent patron, but dealing more at the policy level than the operation. We've got good people working at the Café and all of them share our standard that there's no substitute for perfection. Probably none of us achieve perfection as often as we'd like, but we keep trying. And that's what's important.

Carolyn Vale, Co-owner

As long as I can remember, I've loved to cook. I've cooked for family, friends, and large groups of people I didn't know. And I've always loved it.

But the Pocketstone Café is my first opportunity to actually create the whole dining experience: the menu, the facility, the furniture, the people. It's been an opportunity, on a large and continuing scale, to provide great food and great service to everyone who appreciates it. And I love it.

And the name, Pocketstone—During the fifteen or so years I've dreamed of owning a restaurant, I spent a lot of time hiking the trails of Montana and picking up stones: Pocketstones; small, flat, usually heart-shaped stones that evoke a memory. And, from nearly the beginning, I knew I'd own a restaurant someday and it would be the Pocketstone Café.

Karie Stidham, Co-owner

They don't really call me Emeril, but I have been known to "kick it up a notch" with my seasonings. Of course, I'm pretty sure the gasps from diners are gasps of awe and not gasps for breath. But do be careful when you try my Tabasco Bacon soup. With a name like that, I just figure folks have had fair warning.

I used to teach high school science and I'll have to say that the opportunity to see that look of appreciation on a student's face that came with understanding was really rewarding. But to be honest, the thrilled looks on faces of the folks that try my food excite me even more. People want to be thrilled by their food and when I can make that happen day after day, I really feel that perhaps I've found my calling. The Pocketstone's owners demand great food and I'm honored that they trust me to deliver it.

Chris Robinson, Chef

Maybe I'm too young to have a well developed philosophy of life, but I know I work hard and it's important to love my work. And I do. I love to cook, I love to create great food day after day, and I love the whole atmosphere at the Pocketstone Cafe.

I mean, where else can I come to work as Ty Heaton, Humble Sous Chef, and before the day is over find myself portraying famed Chicago gangster Bugs Moran. That's the thing about the Pocketstone: We take our food very seriously, but we're not afraid to have fun as we do it. And I think that sense of fun flows out from the staff to the whole environment. It's not just a place to eat, but a place to experience.

Ty Heaton, Chef

I never expected to be a barista. And I really never expected this to be the most enjoyable position I've ever had. But I am and it is.

I make all the specialty drinks at the Pocketstone Café. Not just specialty drinks, but special drinks—for special people. Everyone who comes into the Pocketstone is special and I enjoy matching each of them with a drink that fits artfully into the mozaic of the Pocketstone experience. I love the precision that goes into drawing a creamy espresso shot, steaming the milky foam, and putting a drink together that makes that perfect match.

We call it, "Home cooking from a simpler time." What we do is perfectly simple. And simply perfect.

Paulette Kelleher, Barista

I'm trained as a teacher and experienced as a waitress. I've waitressed in some pretty fancy and high-ticket places. I suppose I never expected to be a short-order waitress. But, surprise of surprises, the Pocketstone Café is probably the best place I've ever worked. The food is great, my coworkers are great, and I have the best time interacting with the customers I've ever had. Anywhere.

We waitresses set much of the tone of a restaurant. Of course it's pretty important that we have the support we need from the kitchen, both in terms of timeliness and quality. But we have that and it makes for a most enjoyable experience when I deliver a meal and see faces light up-and stay lighted as they tear into their meals and experience that Pocketstone Awe that we always strive for. My best job ever!

Karen Ricciardi, Lead Server

The Pocketstone Café has taught me everything I know. Well, alright, maybe that's an exaggeration. But I'd never been a waitress before I came to the Pocketstone. In fact, I'd never even thought about being a waitress. But here I am and, at least for the time being, I can't imagine being anywhere else.

I love being a waitress at the Pocketstone and I love my Pocketstone Family. True, I probably love my own family more, but as a place to work and be surrounded by friends and happy customers, I've never had a better experience than I have here. And when the food is so good, the staff is so dedicated, and everyone is just in it to make the Pocketstone experience the best experience it can be—Well, what can I say: It's like every day going to Disneyland.

Amy Boese, Lead Server

People who know me know that I can't stand to sit still. I love to be constantly on the move, doing things, and making people happy in the process. The Pocketstone gives me a great opportunity to do what I love. The Cafe is almost always hopping, even in the middle of winter, and I get to hop along with it.

As you get to know me, you'll notice that I almost always have a smile on my face. It's important to be happy and it's important to me to help other people be happy. And that's how I view my job at the Pocketstone—an opportunity to warm someone's day with a hot cup of coffee, a hearty meal, and a cheerful smile.

Tanya Dopps, Server

They call me pushy, and maybe I am. But I've eaten most of our food here at the Pocketstone Café and I know how good it is. So when new folks come into the Pocketstone for the first time, I feel their first experience is too important to leave them completely on their own. I know what they want, and I'm not afraid to tell them.

Of course, the pushiness is mostly an act. While I know they'll enjoy what I suggest, I'm pretty confident they'll enjoy whatever they order. The Pocketstone is just one of those places—there's not a bad choice on the menu.

Toni Sherry, Server