Nona's Coffee House
March 14, 2014
Correction: Nona's Coffee House is located on the 600 block of 3rd Ave.
Leann and David Johnson opened Nona's Coffee House for many reasons, but the biggest is to leave something for their children to be successful with once they retire.
"We are doing this for our children," Leann said. "Eventually, it will be theirs."
The Johnsons were the owners of Quench and Bench, which was housed in the Atrium Mall before they sold it around 2007.
Leann said starting Nona's was not difficult for them because of the practice they had with their previous restaurant. Opening the coffeehouse was not met with any problems, she said.
"It's my cup of tea," Leann said, expressing her love for cooking.
Leann said she came up with the name for the restaurant through the Italian word for grandmother.
"It's a coffeehouse for all the grandmothers," she added jokingly.
Her biggest passion is cooking, she said. Specifically, cooking Italian food.
She and her family traveled to Italy last year to visit relatives, and she said she loves the country and lifestyle Italians have.
The coffee she serves at Nona's is imported from Italy and much of the food is Italian-influenced, like paninis and many of the homemade pastries she and her family serve. Leann makes a different type of biscotti every week.
"We're an Italian family, so we like the traditional Italian stuff," Leann said.
Leann makes a special every day with entrees like old-fashioned spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef paninis with fontina cheese, bacon and roasted vegetables and Belgian waffles with homemade macadamia maple syrup served with sausage links and fresh fruit.
Leann's son, Shelby Evans, is expecting a daughter with his girlfriend, Petra Currie.
"So, I'll be a nona soon," Leann said.
Both Shelby and Petra work at Nona's and Shelby is pursuing his bachelor's degree in plumbing at Montana State University-Northern.
Shelby said he enjoys working at his family's coffeehouse and is excited to take it over when Leann and David retire.
"I like it, it's fun," Shelby said. "I pretty much make all the sandwiches."
Petra said she also enjoys working the coffeehouse and is learning how to run everything fairly well.
Since the Johnsons sold their previous restaurant, they have thought about opening this coffeehouse.
"We had plans to do it for five years," Leann said. "Finally, we said 'enough, we're doing it.'"
Leann said business has been going pretty well since they opened a couple months ago.
"It's kind of intimidating at first," David said, but he is getting used to the new line of work. Though he said he still has to ask Leann what goes in what and what the soup of the day is, he's happy with the decision to open the coffeehouse. "It's been going good. We're pleased."
"It's a family deal," Leann said. "It takes everyone to make it work."
They said there has been some reservation about the location of the coffeehouse on 3rd Street, but not much. The building is just outside of downtown Havre, but still in the historic district, and they get a lot of foot-traffic, Leann said.
"We're not off the beaten path, if you look around," Leann said.
Nona's Coffee House is located at 603 3rd Ave. and the telephone number is 262-7658. The store hours are Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.