Walking up to Cobblestone Café in Ft. Thomas visitors are greeted with smiling frog statues and other welcoming figures amongst cheerful flowers in the garden out front. Family owned and operated since July 2005, Brenda Spade—daughter Jen Black is her partner—makes patrons feel like one of the family from the moment they walk through the door.

Everything made at the restaurant is made in house from scratch, including baked goods, sandwiches, soups and salads. Spade says the restaurant was always a deli or sandwich shop before it became Cobblestone Café, but was vacant when she found it after working at another restaurant in Ft. Thomas.

“Ft. Thomas is a very close-knit community,” says Spade. “They have always, since day one, welcomed us with open arms and supported us.”

The café celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and it is the consistency and simplicity that keeps the people coming back, hungry for more, says Spade. All of the menu items sell really well, she says, and people are happy. 

There is a specialty sandwich on the menu called the Twisted Ham and Cheese. A hot, soft-pretzel bun made by another local company holds ham, cheddar cheese and spicy brown mustard all melted together making a simple but unique sandwich. Also on the menu is an Italian sub and a Reuben. “We get a lot of compliments on our Reuben,” says Spade.

Cobblestone Café’s vibrant decorations change with each season both outside and inside, and Spade loves to decorate the café for the holidays with her extensive snowman collection. She holds a contest for visitors to count the number of snowmen and the winner who counts the correct number wins a prize. People enjoy coming in to the restaurant to participate in the contest and grab a delectable meal, says Spade. 

The café also offers catering and party trays during the holidays. Patrons appreciate the consistency and family atmosphere of the Cobblestone Café, says Spade, and that is exactly what has brought them back for a decade with family and friends in tow.

“We have families who have been coming in for 10 years now, we watched their kids grow up, and we call them our Cobblestone Kids,” says Spade. “We don’t really do our own advertising, it is all word of mouth, and people bring in their families and tell their friends.”

The excitement of every day, the always evolving momentum, and the challenges that arise, both good and bad, keeps Spade and her crew coming back each year, every day. “Sit at a desk again? No,” says Spade with a laugh. Four generations work at the restaurant, and it is that close family dynamic that makes visitors feel welcomed and eager to support local businesses like Cobblestone Café.

“A lot of people don’t want to go to the big chain [restaurants] anymore,” says Spade. “They are very, very good about supporting the local businesses around here, and this is definitely local and family.”