Biz Beat

Garden Cafe sprouts in Frontier Town

Lisa Welch grew up around her family's restaurants. Her father, the late Joe Welch, owned Welch's Restaurant in Salida and Welch's truck stop on South Ninth Street in Modesto. Her mother, Sally, operated Welch's Dinner Bell in Salida.

Lisa learned first-hand what it takes to survive and thrive in that always harsh business environment. That's why her Ripon restaurant, My Garden Cafe, has blossomed since opening 4½ years ago. Now she's working hard to duplicate that success at her new My Garden Cafe in Modesto.

Located in the Frontier Town shopping center at 3507 Tully Road, the restaurant occupies Suites 30 and 40 near the center of the complex. It moved into the site that had been occupied for about a decade by the Country Bear Cafe and expanded into an adjoining space. For those who liked Country Bear, they'll find the same kind of fare and much more at My Garden Cafe.

Open for breakfast and lunch only, My Garden Cafe features large portions of traditional country dishes, from biscuits and gravy to chicken-fried steak. Full breakfast entrees include eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, pork chops and more. There are classic and specialty waffles, breakfast skillets, omelettes, pancakes, French toast, steaks, about a dozen kinds of burgers and lots of sandwiches: BLT, club and such. Diners also can select from several salads, soups and daily specials. There also is a kids and seniors menu.

Welch and crew remodeled the interior. It features a light, bright color scheme, country and garden accents as well as old Welch family photos from their early days in the valley. And there will be plenty of family members, including sister Tanya Welch Climer, around to keep things running smoothly.

With that kind of support, Welch is confident that My Garden Cafe in Modesto will get the attention — and nurturing — it needs to blossom. Hours are 6 a.m. to2 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, call 523-0184.

Elsewhere on the Business Beat:

What is it: City Heat Tanning Salon at 1600 McHenry Ave., Suite D, in Modesto has changed ownership. Phone, 521-1260. Web site,

What it does: City Heat offers five tanning beds, including a spray tan booth and legs-only tanner. There's also an oxygen bar with eight aromas, including calming, relaxing, rejuvenating and uplifting.

Who runs it: Michelle Stetson and Ashley Bowman are first-time business owners. The mother-daughter team took over July 17. City Heat has been open since 2003. Hours are 10 a.m to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

What makes it special: City Heat offers a friendly atmosphere with a modern feel. InfraRed Body Wraps for tightening and rejuvenating skin also are available.

What is it: Dynamic Ceramics at 807 W. Roseburg Ave., Suite F, in Roseburg Square in Modesto. It's between Virginia and College avenues. Phone, 578-3108.

What it does: Dynamic Ceramics allows customers to choose a ceramic figure and paint it. Customers pay a fee that covers the paint, utensils and firing of the item. Dynamic Ceramics has a variety of ceramics from which to choose, including tableware, gardening pots, animal figures, fantasy figurines and cars. The process takes about two or three days.

Who runs it: Richard and Sherrie Miller, a husband-wife team, are the owners. Dynamic Ceramics opened in June. Hours are 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday,10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

What makes it special: Dynamic Ceramics offers a wide range of ceramics at low prices.

Have an item for Business Beat? Send it to David W. Hill, Business Editor, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or Compiled by Jillian Hanks,Bee newsroom assistant