Beloved Small Cafe Reopens Its Doors

After being closed nearly seven months, the Small Cafe reopens under new owner and slightly different name


Laura Selley-Beall (right) hands menus to customers Scot and Kris Rockwell at the new Laura’s Small Cafe, located in the Twin Pines Shopping Center on the Beeline Highway in Payson.

Laura Selley-Beall (right) hands menus to customers Scot and Kris Rockwell at the new Laura’s Small Cafe, located in the Twin Pines Shopping Center on the Beeline Highway in Payson. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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It’s known for its delectable breakfasts and lunches as well as cozy country feel. After being open umpteen years, the Small Cafe was a Rim Country institution for good food. When the cafe closed in July, stomachs around the Rim Country grumbled in sorrow.

Most of all, former server and now owner Laura Selley-Beall was heartbroken to see the cafe, at 512 S. Beeline Highway, close.

“I wanted my job back,” Selley-Beall said. “I was miserable wherever else I worked, so I thought why not me.”

Selley-Beall and her family pitched in funds to reopen the cafe and on Saturday, they reopened it as Laura’s Small Cafe.

Walk into the cafe and it looks exactly as it did when it closed. The same wallpaper dons the walls, the tables and chairs are the same and the menu looks virtually identical.

The difference is the prices. Selley-Beall said she was able to lower the prices and make the restaurant affordable for everyone.

Although not a trained chef, Selley-Beall took over in the kitchen and now cooks up most of the meals.

After working as a waiter for the Small Cafe for a number of years, Selley-Beall said she picked up how to make most everything on the menu. From their famous eggs Benedict to almond-crusted French toast with caramel sauce.

“I want to keep it the same way and keep the same menu,” she said.

One big change at the cafe is who is staffing it. Every employee is a family member. Selley-Bealls said she is proud to give her relatives a job, especially in these tough economic times.

Although she has only had the cafe open a week, Selley-Beall said loyal customers have already started filtering back in.

“Customers are ecstatic that we are back open,” she said. “If the rest of the town feels about this place like I do, I know I won’t have any empty tables.”

Laura’s Small Cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Seniors over 55 get a 10 percent discount. For more information, call (928) 474-9018.

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