The Toasted Owl Café was one woman’s dream that was only waiting for opportunity and time to become a reality. Being a former English teacher in the Phoenix area, Cecily Maniaci arrived in Flagstaff, AZ three years ago in pursuit of her ‘Toasted Owl’ dream. Combining her one ‘toaster’, one hotplate, and 5 table operation with her love for ‘anything owls and vintage’, she opened The Hoot Mart a little over a year ago in downtown Flagstaff in the SunWest Bank building on Birch Avenue. This small dream became what most would call an ‘overnight success’. Realizing her need for more restaurant space and the fact that the corner of Mikes Pike Street and Phoenix Avenue had become available, she seized the opportunity and reopened her 5 table operation as The Toasted Owl Café seating almost 150 people including the outside, dog-friendly patio.
With a flare for cooking and menu planning, Cecily and crew serve a delicious variety of food. From gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options, there are a wide array of dietary choices for every palate. The Toasted Owl website mentions “breakfast tacos, kale and spinach salad and chai spiced pancakes” as house specialties. Having visited the cafe several times in a span of one month, I enjoyed every sip of coffee and every bite of tried breakfast specialties.
Being a “huge vintage junkie”, Cecily has combined the restaurant business with vintage resale. Cecily says, “There is so much great stuff, and I wanted to help make a better planet through recycling stuff that is already here.” She loves vintage lighting of all kinds and sells “fixtures, furniture, lamps, dishes, salt and pepper shakers” which involves practically everything in the cafe being for sale. People love it. Cecily says that people bring her owl pictures and figurines of all types and varieties. One customer sent her over 170 owls from his mom’s collection after she passed away. Reinventing herself from English teacher to restaurant owner with vintage retail, Cecily gives her café crew the credit for her success. She humbly states, “I have the best crew. They make the restaurant. I learn more from them than they do from me.” Cecily and her ‘Toasted Owl’ and crew have become an almost instant asset to our Flagstaff community. ‘Amazing’ and ‘inspirational’ are words that characterize her. I left our interview having a fresh outlook on life and renewed zeal for my own aspirations and dreams.
More exciting news for The Toasted Owl is the opening of its second location in the Continental Shopping Center on Cortland Blvd this February. If you have not visited this creative and yummy place, make it a goal for 2017 to try out The Toasted Owl. ‘Whhoooooooo’ knows – you might just end up going home with a few vintage relics of your own.
Be sure and remember that Team Three 23 sent you!