Roz Eldridge has brought stability to the drive-through restaurant on Ruby Street, across from Safeway, but has done so through a willingness to adapt and change the Lunchbox Cafe offerings to meet customer needs.
“We will have been here for two years come April, but as a restaurant I think we’re just starting to figure things out in terms of food and customers,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge, her husband, Dan, and her daughter, Risa, are known in the community not just for the Lunchbox Cafe but also through their long-time presence at the Kittitas County Farmers Market with their wood-fired pizza stand.
And before that, Eldridge created Canyon River Bakers.
To a certain extent, the Lunchbox Cafe brings together the various elements of Eldridge’s food career.
Eldridge said while doing Canyon River Bakers she listened to customers talking about wanting healthy eating options in the community.
“We decided we’d do the Lunchbox Cafe,” Eldridge said. “We’d do it fast. We’d do good, quality healthy food.”
The downtown location proved key, Eldridge said, to reaching customers who need to quickly get a lunch in the downtown core, eliminating the need to travel to the fast-food restaurants.
“The downtown drive-through has been phenomenal,” Eldridge said.
The Lunchbox Cafe menu features vegan and gluten-free options.
The menu includes breakfast, smoothies, sandwiches, salads (including a create-your-own protein salad) and desserts. The smoothies are made with fresh fruit, no sugar added. All the bread for sandwiches is made from scratch.
The dessert options include Canyon River Bakers’ popular coconut cake.
Fresh and local
Eldridge said she uses her farmers market connections to obtain fresh, local produce when possible.
With the seasonal end of the farmers market, Eldridge said they are bringing the wood-fired pizza cart to the Lunchbox Cafe on Friday afternoons to meet customer demand.
“The first weekend the farmers market was closed we had three calls from people asking where they could get their wood-fired pizza,” Eldridge said.
Lunchbox Cafe is open 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, with the wood-fired pizza offered until 4 p.m. on Friday.