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The timing was perfect for Ron and Jennifer Siver.
The couple were relocating to the area and were looking for a business opportunity. Karen Gorneau, meanwhile, was looking for a buyer for the Artisan Cafe. Gorneau has rheumatoid arthritis and needed to spend less time on her feet than running the business would allow.
“We came here, walked in the door and we were sold,” Ron commented, noting that their first impression of the place was how bright and cheerful it was.
Now, the Sivers own the cafe. They have kept the same staff and the same menu.
“We aren’t changing anything,” Siver said, though they may expand.
The expansion they hope for is to extend their hours into the evening and have live bands after 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Ron plans to have blues, jazz, folk music, Gospel and bluegrass. The Sivers, themselves, plan to perform from time to time. They are bluegrass musicians and their daughter Dorothy Jane, who is 15, has her first CD out. Dorothy Jane plays fiddle, guitar, bass and mandolin. Ron plays bass and Jennifer plays guitar, as well as writing music.
All bands will need to be acoustic and be able to fit into a small space. Anyone who is interested may contact Ron Siver at (540) 587-8878.
The Sivers also plan do catering.
The cafe currently has carryout and a Web site at www.artisancafe4u.com. Ron said that their menu is there, as well as hours and specials. Once they get the music going, the Web site will have information about the musicians slated to perform. They are also getting on Facebook.
They offer free WiFi.
“We want to invite people to do their homework, to do their business work,” Ron said.
The Sivers came here from upstate New York, an area in the Adirondack Mountains. It’s a rural area.
“We’ve raised sheep, we’ve driven tractors, we’ve shoveled barns,” Ron said.
They’ve also been coming to the Bedford area for some time. They first saw the area 10 years ago when they brought their oldest daughter, Janelle, down to start her freshman year at Liberty University. The daughter, now Janelle Trosper and her husband, Shawn Trosper, also a Liberty University graduate, live in the Bedford area. She teaches at Forest Middle School and he teaches at Liberty High School.
“Now we have a grandson,” commented Ron. “That’s what really brought us here.”
They also like the area. Ron said that they like the culture and they like the attitude of the people who live here.
Ron said that they were planning to move here after Jennifer retired. He is a retired Army MP, a former canine officer. Then, on April 10, Jennifer was laid off.
“At that point, we said, ‘We’re ready to go,’” Ron commented.