Nanas Diner still thriving after 25 years

While Nana’s Diner, the first of its kind, was originally located on the outskirts of Naples, Florida, it immediately established a dedicated following among both locals and tourists. For nearly a decade, Nana ran the cafe on her own, blending her dishes with the Italian culinary traditions she’d learnt from her mother. Nana was a lively middle-aged woman who had a shock of white hair and a smile that could light up a room.

Those who frequented Nana’s Diner knew they could always count on a warm welcome from Nana, great conversation, and delicious cuisine. There was a variety of traditional diner fare on the menu, but it was the daily specials that kept customers coming back. On Tuesdays, the cafe served Nana’s famous lasagna with ricotta cheese and tangy tomato sauce, and on Saturdays, slow-cooked pork roast with creamy mashed potatoes and sour coleslaw.

Lines formed as word of mouth spread, but Nana never lost her cool, always greeting clients with a smile and a friendly hello. Despite the diner’s success, Nana maintained her connections to the neighborhood by supporting youth sports and providing free meals to the less fortunate.

Nana passed along the restaurant to her daughter Teonta, who took over the diner in 2009. The diner remains a family business, and Teonta continues to serve southern breakfast and lunch with love and attitude. Everything is homemade with care and attention to detail, and customers can not get enough of the signature dish, biscuits and gravy.

One of the things that makes Nana’s Diner so special is its close relationship with the community. The diner has a long history of community support, and during a fire that destroyed the shopping center in 2013, Nana’s Diner was closed for 45 days. But Nana and her team gave back to the community by providing free biscuits and gravy and coffee while many people gave tips to help the employees during the closure.

The diner faced other challenges, such as Hurricane Ian and the pandemic, but Nana and her team made sure that their employees did not go without. Teonta considers her employees her family and the backbone of her business. Teonta also shows her dedication to the community by participating in the Colby Scholarship program, working with schools and youth programs, and donating to charitable organizations

Nana’s Diner is a unique business where customers are treated like family, and employees are valued and appreciated. As Nana used to say, “If you left the diner hungry, it was your own damn fault.”