A lot has changed in 30 years since Neil Colburn purchased the Clover Patch Restaurant in October 1983 and changed its name to Neil’s Clover Patch Café. One of the biggest changes happened in 2001, when demand for the food and service provided by The Clover Patch encouraged Neil to acquire the property next door and double the size of the restaurant.
But much of what has made the Clover Patch a perennial favorite of the locals has not: it’s still a family-owned restaurant where many of the same people have been coming since Neil started the business; customers still come for the comfortable, casual dining atmosphere, as well as the good food; and Jo Johannsen, who had been a waitress at the original Clover Patch for 10 years when Neil bought it, is still serving customers today as she approaches her 80th Birthday.
Neil says that the biggest change he has observed is in the demographics of his customers. He still has many of the construction workers and other local workers who are regulars for breakfast and lunch, but he noticed a shift that began about five years ago where his customers were becoming better informed and wanted locally grown, healthier food.
In response to the growing requests, Neil made several changes on his menu. He is proud that he only serves grass-fed, locally grown beef in his hamburgers from the Long Family Farm, a few miles from the Café, and from Three Sisters Beef in Oak Harbor. Customers can have eggs from organically-raised chickens that thrive on eating bugs. He serves organically grown local produce whenever it is available. And, last month, he switched from “corporate” coffee to Mukilteo Coffee (chemical free, free trade, and roasted and ground less than three miles away from the café).
Neil is proud that “We’re working with locals and providing more business for them and us.” He is continuing to look for other local products to sell in his café, and he hopes his business will continue to grow as word spreads about the flavor and benefits of local grass-fed beef, organic eggs and organic produce.
Neil notes, “Our business is continuing to grow as more and more people bring their friends for a visit.”
The Clover Patch is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, at 14485 State Route 525, in Langley (Bayview). There is also a selection of wine, beer and mixed drinks. Give Neil's Clover Patch Cafe a call to learn about the specials for the day: 360-321-4120.