J. Caroline’s Restaurant is named after chef/owner Jane McGoldrick’s grandmother. “She was a fabulous home cook who put love and care into everything she made,” Jane recalls. “When I was young, my grandmother lost her ability to speak due to a stroke, but I was able to remain connected to her through cooking. Her hand-written notes and cookbooks spoke to me as I learned her talent of preparing delicious no-fuss comfort food that I now bring to J. Caroline’s.”
Jane’s love of cooking and making connections through food led to her pursuing a career as a professional chef. Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, she started her training at 16 in a co-op placement at a local restaurant. After high school, she entered the chef training program at Sault College. From there Jane went to New Brunswick, Alberta and BC to receive more training and rise in the ranks of the chef world, from Chef de Partie to Sous-Chef, at top restaurants and resorts in those provinces. Jane then had an opportunity to live and work in Australia and stayed there for three years. While in Melbourne, she earned her Associate’s degree in Hospitality Management, before moving back to the Sault in 2013.
I asked Jane: what brought her back? She said without hesitation; “There were three main draws: family, quality of life, and cost of living. The Sault is a great place to live. I especially love the downtown area with its world-class waterfront, parks, and historical architecture. I have lived and travelled in many parts of the world, and the Sault has so much going for it that many people don’t appreciate. We’re very fortunate to have the quality of life we have here.”
Just opened in November of 2017, J. Caroline’s is a new comer to the downtown Sault Ste. Marie restaurant scene. The popular diner has a loyal following attributable to the appreciation of high quality, unique, and delicious food. Janes describes her restaurant and menu as a “contemporary diner, serving casual Northern Ontario comfort food with a twist.”
This past summer, J. Caroline’s was able to expand its seating by building an outdoor patio in front of the restaurant. “This was a great boost for our business, and we can thank other downtown businesses who started the trend by spearheading the initiative and getting the cooperation from the City,” she says. “Next year we will have our liquour license, so we can continue to offer options for our customers.”
J. Caroline’s is proud to source their menu ingredients, as much as possible, from local Algoma producers and processors, like Agawa Fishery for their freshly caught fish, St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters for locally roasted coffee, Penokean Hills Farms for everything beef, fresh bread from Superior Home Bakery, and greens and lettuce from Jardin Farm.
“Our philosophy is to provide great food always, with the right balance of fresh ingredients, local goods, and love,” says Jane. This philosophy is obviously working, because the breakfast and lunch menus are chock full of delectable selections. Items like a Benny Sandwich with shredded smoked ham, over easy egg, and homemade hollandaise sauce, served on a fresh Kaiser roll. For lunch, one of the most popular items is the Tempura Fish Tacos, with crispy whitefish, shredded cabbage slaw, and chili lime dressing in a fresh flour tortilla, served with lime fries and aoli dipping sauce. To see their full menu, check out the website.
J. Caroline’s employs five people including Jane, and she has plans in the near future to further increase the downtown presence of great eateries.
Jane has purchased the Mrs. B’s Pizza building on East St in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. The new restaurant will be called “East St. Pizza Co.” and will serve gourmet pizza. The soft opening of the new pizza shop will happen in February 2019, with the grand opening in the Spring.
Longer-term plans involve installing rooftop gardens at the commercial/residential building she owns on Queen St. She plans to grow much of her own food for the two restaurants.
Jane McGoldrick is one busy and enterprising business woman who not only believes in the downtown, but has heavily invested in it. She wants to let everyone know that “We have only been open for a year, and we encourage all who haven’t yet tried us out to come in and support not just us, but all the local businesses downtown.”