Out with the old and in with the new at revamped Diana Sweets

LISTOWEL – As the iconic downtown Listowel business enters a new era, Diana Sweets Marketplace and Café wants to remind people to be patient with them as they reopen their freshly- renovated doors on March 16.

The renovations were supposed to be completed by the end of February, but as one can expect with an over 100-year-old building, there were a few snags along the way.

“Always there’s delays,” explained Tami Cressey, one of the owners of Diana Sweets Marketplace and Café.

“We ended up doing more extensive renovations than we originally had planned on, too.”

They found structural issues in the ceiling, electrical problems, and plumbing to be fixed. Pretty much all the things you don’t see that take up a lot of the money. But with the renos completed, Diana Sweets is ushering in a new business model entirely, while remaining “primarily food-focused”.

Its primary focus will be on the grab-and-go food options for customers, which include individual or family sized meals that are “elevated comfort foods”.

“Our hope is, you know, we’ve got these fresh ready-made whole food dinners, so coming home from work, pop in here, grab your tray of whatever, throw it in the oven, and you’re done,” said Cressey.

“We have our starting hours, we have our starting products but a lot may change. We want to hear what people want.”

There will also be salads, sandwiches and paninis that will be made fresh in an open prep area at the back of the main space. The interior is completely different, with a new colour scheme, a wheelchair-accessible washroom, and spaces for people to sit down and enjoy their fresh food or hot beverage.

“We tried to think of everything, but I’m sure there are things we didn’t,” expressed Cressey.

Tami has partnered with local women entrepreneurs, such as Sugar Baby Sweets and Treats, to provide additional products for their customers. Their marketplace has filled up fast with products from local entrepreneurs who reached out to Cressey.

“We love local collabs,” stated Tami.

When asked what they want the public to know surrounding the opening, owner Matthew Cressey explains that “this is completely different than Diana Sweets.”

“The Diana Sweets Restaurant is in every way different than Diana Sweets Marketplace and Café. So adjust your expectations accordingly,” continues Tami.

“Patience would be key, because it’s also completely different for us… Be aware, it’s not the same space. We are the same people, you’re going to get the same friendly service. You’re going to have the same high-quality food, but it’s not the same. We’ve got lots of room to grow, so who knows what it might evolve into.”

Melissa Dunphy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner