Cora Breakfast and Lunch had its grand opening in Vernon Tuesday morning. The local franchise owners Craig McMillan (from left) and Karen Olsen joined Martin Paskevich to present a cheque to the Kindale Developmental Association, accepted by Micah Thiessen, Evan Padgette and Karen Truesdale. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star

Cora breakfast restaurant gets cracking in Vernon

The Montreal-based restaurant chain made its first grand opening in Vernon on Tuesday morning

Vernon residents no longer need to drive to Kelowna to have breakfast Cora-style.

Cora Breakfast and Lunch – a Montreal-based restaurant chain – made its grand opening in Vernon Tuesday morning, marked not with ribbon cutting but with an egg cracking. Special guests at the event were invited to crack an egg into a large bowl, playing a role in the making of the restaurant’s first omelette.

It’s the first Cora chain to open doors in Vernon. The restaurant at 5601 Anderson Way seats 138 diners.

“It’s our tradition that Cora management always comes to town for the grand opening,” said Martin Paskevich, Cora’s Director of Western Operations. Paskevich was accompanied by Cora’s corporate vice president, Lucie Normandin, who helps get things cracking on the opening day of each new each new franchise and makes visits to each franchise every year or two (no small effort given there are now more than 130 restaurants in the country, including 11 in B.C.).

Normandin spoke at length on the restaurant chain’s founder, Madame Cora Tsouflidou, who started the business in 1987 out of an abandoned snack bar in Montreal. Madame Cora was not present at the opening, but Normandin said she will be making a visit to Vernon sometime in the future.

Read More: Cora breakfast chain to welcome first Vernon guests

A cheque for $2,000 was presented to the Kindale Development Association. The donation amount was equal to the restaurant’s total earnings on its first day, which took place on Aug. 12 before the official grand opening.

Local MP Mel Arnold and Vernon Coun. Akbal Mund were among more than 100 attendees at the restaurant’s opening.

“I can see success already working here,” Arnold said to Cora’s Vernon franchisee owners, Karen Olsen and Craig McMillan. “Your choice of a location with the morning sun coming in couldn’t be more fitting for a breakfast restaurant.

Mund predicted future success given that Cora is one of few dedicated breakfast spots in the city.

“You’ll have lineups in no time,” he said.

In fact, there was a line up out the door during Cora’s traditional egg-cracking ceremony, and seating used for the grand opening was quickly filled thereafter.

Read More: Pirate Pak Day a hit in Vernon

Brendan Shykora
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