Sisters bring old school scratch cooking to Rolfe Street

Posted 5/24/22

By PAM SCHIFF

Amy Thomas and Melissa Talevi have roots that go deep in the Cranston community, especially around the Rolfe Square area.

“We moved here when we were young (seven and 10). …

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Sisters bring old school scratch cooking to Rolfe Street

Posted

By PAM SCHIFF

Amy Thomas and Melissa Talevi have roots that go deep in the Cranston community, especially around the Rolfe Square area.

“We moved here when we were young (seven and 10). We grew up on Lexington Avenue. We went to Eden Park, (West View), Park View Middle School and Cranston East. We both live in Cranston now and love the community and Rolfe Square neighborhood,” said Melissa.

Melissa was a cheerleader and Amy was in the band while at East.

Their dad, Ray Hayden, served on the School Committee representing Ward 2. So, Rolfe Street and the surrounding areas are second homes to them.

Between the girls there are 12 kids, and they have 29 grandchildren combined. Amy and her husband Andre will celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary in September.

After raising their children and being involved in all of their activities, the sisters decided it was time for them to follow a dream.

“As a parent, I served as the Cultural Arts Coordinator at Dutemple Elementary for the PTO. We were also involved in supporting activities that our kids were involved in; JROTC, basketball, football and CLCF,” said Amy.

The goal of Cornerstone Cafe is to bring quality food in a comfortable atmosphere with community connections.

“We have been cooking for others for years -- and people have always told us ‘You should have a restaurant!’ We finally had the time, the vision and the resources to take that step together,” Melissa said.

All the food is cooked from scratch, using family recipes.

“We personally go to the markets and pick all the fresh produce and meat. We want to serve the food we would serve our families. Fresh, fresh, fresh,” Amy said.

One of the most important goals the sisters strive for is to make everyone feel welcome and at ease; the tables all have positive and faith affirmations on them.

“We can customize a sandwich or an entire catering menu, we are able to accommodate most dietary needs. Due to our flexibility, over the past two years, we have been able to establish relationships with many organizations and groups (not just in Cranston) as well as the Cranston Public School Department,” Melissa said.

The sisters give a lot of credit to Shannon Casey at the Artists’ Exchange and Catherine “Cathy” McGillivray from Gateways to Change.

“The help, support and guidance they provided were incredible. The grace they extended to us was priceless,” Melissa said.

Amy agreed, echoing her thanks.

“We simply would not be in business if it were not for them,” she said.

The sisters have big plans for the future. They want to continue their catering service while increasing the restaurant flow. They hope to get chairs and tables for outside seating during the nice weather. They are hoping to be open on weekends soon.

In true Rhode Island and Cranston form, to locate the Cornerstone Cafe, when on Rolfe Street, go to where the former Character’s Cafe and Black Box theater company were.

To get their menu, daily specials, hours of operation and other information, visit www.facebook.com/cornerstonecafecranston.

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