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Hello friends and fans of the Waterfront Depot! What a whirlwind the last couple of months have been! I wanted to use this newsletter to take the opportunity to introduce our family and share a bit of our story and how it led us to becoming the new owners of the Waterfront Depot.
As Marianne mentioned in her last newsletter, I was born and raised here in Florence. I always said there was only one thing that could pull me away from Florence, and that was a pretty girl. Well her name is Elizabeth, she’s from Cincinnati, and we met on her first day on campus in college. For the next 15 years I proceeded to live out my mother’s greatest fears: I moved to the Mid-west for school, met a Mid-west girl, had a Mid-west marriage and made Mid-west babies (5 to be exact). About 18 months ago we finally made it back to Florence, and I’m excited to say that she’s expecting our first Oregon baby in mid-June!
Many of you may have known my grandparents Henry and Nancy Johnson. They were long time Florence residents and business owners who helped start OPBC, the Western Lane Foundation, Western Lane Furniture (now Roby’s), and others. My wife, kids and I now live in the home they built and lived in for over 40 years before they both passed away. I mention them because in many ways it is their example, and love for the people and town of Florence that motivated our family to relocate from Cincinnati.
We didn’t move back to Florence with an ambition to buy the Waterfront Depot, but rather a desire to carry on and find our place in the heritage of faith, family and care for the community my grandparents embodied and many of our family members continue to this day. When I first heard that Marianne was considering selling my initial thought was not that we would buy the Waterfront Depot. My initial thought was simply that I hope the wrong person doesn’t buy it! After all, the last thing any of us wanted was some stranger coming in and getting rid of the Crab Encrusted Halibut!
Over time it occurred to us that perhaps what the Waterfront Depot needed was not the most qualified owner, but rather a family who understood the importance of this place and this business in our community. A family who would care for and honor the staff who has been and continues to deliver the most excellent dining experience on the Oregon Coast day in and day out. A family who believes in the possibility of creating a space where genuine connection can happen, relationships can flourish and every individual can feel valued and appreciated.
Our family is committed to these things. We are honored and humbled to have been given this responsibility, and are truly grateful to Marianne for believing in us enough to entrust us with the business and people she has poured her heart and soul into for almost two decades.
I have loved meeting so many of you in the restaurant over the past couple of months. Thank you for your kindness and the warm welcome you have given us. It’s been fun to share a bit of our story, and we look forward to meeting each and every one of you and hearing a bit of yours as well!
The Stone Family