Todd and Rachel Boice of Mehoopany have each spent 20 to 25 years working in local mom-and-pop restaurants.
In fact, it’s how the couple, now married for 12 years, first met. Both worked at the Sugar Hollow Diner in Eaton Township years ago, which Todd’s aunt owned.
“We worked there for a long time together and we’ve worked in a lot of other places, a lot of great places,” Rachel remembered.
Now the couple is taking their shared experience in the food service business and using it to start their very own restaurant: Todd + Rachel’s, located on 215 W. Tioga St., Tunkhannock, across the street from the Tunkhannock Public Library.
It’s been a dream of the Boices to open their own business for years, but Todd + Rachel’s isn’t their first attempt.
The couple tried opening up a restaurant twice in the past, but plans fell flat and they needed to wait for the right opportunity.
Eventually, the space on West Tioga Street opened up, and the landlord had them in mind as tenants.
Rachel said it’s like “shell shock” when she looks around and sees the restaurant coming together.
“It’s going to hit me the first morning when we’re open and we’re really busy. It’s slowly coming together. I just want to get going,” Todd added.
Todd + Rachel’s will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Within the next two years, the Boices hope to acquire a liquor license, but for now it will be “bring your own bottle.”
Rather than placing a label on the restaurant, they want it to be known as a place that serves “a little bit of everything.” Some menu items include chicken and biscuits, meatloaf, steaks, seasonal salads, soups, hoagies, breakfast sandwiches and pies.
The idea is to serve fresh, home-cooked meals in a welcoming atmosphere.
“People walk in and you know them. You’re happy to see them,” Rachel said.
Additionally, Todd said he hopes Todd + Rachel’s could give customers more food options, especially for takeout lunches, as the area has a surplus of pizza and Chinese restaurants.
After putting so much time into other people’s businesses, the couple figured it was time to work for themselves instead. Rachel plans to be a server and Todd a cook in addition to other responsibilities that come with owning a restaurant.
“We paid our dues,” Rachel said. “Now it’s time to get our name on the door.”
The Boices pride themselves on never working for chain restaurants and admire this area’s support of local business.
“They take care of you better,” Todd said.
For the Boices, one of the best parts of being in the restaurant business is the relationships that form, whether it’s between staff members or people in the community.
Rachel said a lot of people who know them can’t believe this is their first time opening a restaurant, and they’re glad to have people rooting for them in addition to a great crew that’s ready to get to work when Todd + Rachel’s opens soon.
“That’s the good thing about being in the industry so long, you know lots of good people from all over,” she said.
The crazy things that happen behind the scenes in a restaurant are also noteworthy, Todd said. While he’s worked other jobs throughout the years, he always finds himself drawn back to restaurant life.
While some might not love the idea of working with their spouse, Todd and Rachel believe being business partners is essential to the operation.
“We talk a lot about how we would not want to do it with anyone else,” Rachel said.
The Boices have their grand opening planned for Friday, April 5.
For more information about the restaurant, visit the Facebook page “Todd + Rachel’s.”