North San Juan’s Ridge Cafe, a small organic-food cafe catering to — in their own words — “artists, farmers, craftsmen, tradesmen, mountain folk, neighbors, travelers, out-door enthusiasts, health-nuts, hippies & hill-billies,” was robbed Sunday night of more than $800 in cash.
The cafe in the heart of the tiny town on Highway 49 serves up locally roasted organic espresso drinks and a full line of sandwiches, salads and fresh baked pastries, and serves as a de-facto gathering space for many in the community.
The break-in was discovered Monday morning, said Sarah Jean Lang, who bought the business nearly two years ago with Christina Reese.
“There was no major damage, no broken windows,” Lang said. “One window looks (like it was) monkeyed with.”
Lang said whoever burglarized the cafe stole all of the money out of the cash register, as well as backup change and cash that was kept in a bag near the register.
“Nothing else was taken, it looks like a grab and run,” she said. “It could have been worse.”
Still, the theft is a big hit to a small business, Lang said, considering what it takes to keep 15 people employed and the cafe up and running.
“Every little bit helps, around here,” she said. “We’ll survive — we’re tough, hard-working girls. But it’s sad, to see someone in our community do this.”
Lang said she and Reese might be too trusting, but they try to promote giving back to their community — for example, she said, they have served more than 450 gratitude bowls to the needy.
“We know 90 percent of our customers by their first names,” Lang said. “So this is a hit to the morale.”
Lang asked that anyone who knows anything that could help with the investigation to contact the cafe or the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office at 530-265-1471. The cafe also has put a jar out for a recovery fund, she said.
The Ridge Café is located at 29318 Highway 49, North San Juan. For more information, call 530-292-3488.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.