July Edgcomb, owner of the Leard House, erases the items off the menu board. Edgcomb recently announced the café was closing due to personal reasons.
©MILLICENT MCKAY/JOURNAL PIONEER
LOWER BEDEQUE, P.E.I. - Despite a successful first season, traffic at the Leard House was tenuous after it opened in May for a second season.
Now the owner, July Edgcomb, is closing the doors for good at the Leard House restaurant and café in Lower Bedeque in order to put more focus on family.
This place might not be a restaurant, but it will always be, The Leard House
July Edgcomb, owner of the Leard House
“In my decision to close I’ve realized that every decision and action we make has a ripple effect.
“My family supported my dreams of moving to the Island, and then opening this place. Now it’s time for me to support theirs.”
Edgcomb said the decision wasn’t easy, but she had a feeling this would be the last go around.
“We’ve had three busy days since opening and you can’t run a business in those conditions.”
Local businesses closing, location, and a rumour they had already closed played a role in the lack of customers, said Edgcomb.
“When the Village Store closed it was definitely a blow. We had our flyers there and it was an obvious place to stop if you had directions or questions on how to get here.”
She added, “we had people calling asking us if it was the Leard House saying that they tried another number and the person on that line told them we had already closed. And that wasn’t the case.”
Since announcing the closure, Edgcomb has faced some backlash from the community.
“I have no obligation to anyone but my family. So to have people come up and say how dare I close this place. It was shocking.”
She continued, “My focus has always been my family and will always be my family and this is the best decision.
“I homeschool my children. I’ve done well with my elder kids, now I need to maintain that with my other three.”
She said the decision came with support of those who have helped open and operate the café.
“I’m all for [July] doing what she needs to do to take care of herself and family. I totally understand the need to be with her family,” said Sue Woodworth, a spiritual reader and medium who held sessions at the location.
“The house has the energy it did when [July] moved in here. It’s like it understands and is happy with the decision.”
Edgcomb says the recent loss of a family friend solidified the decision.
“Everyday you have to do what makes you happiest. Life’s too short and I’ve made peace with the house and journey.”
For now, Edgcomb won’t sell the property.
“The family has a need for the house. My daughter and son-in-law are going to move in. I’ve set a rule for them. They have to maintain the historical integrity of the house.”
She also plans to continue the full moon ceremonies, a gathering celebrating the lunar cycle and growth, and maintain the Leard House Facebook page.
“This place might not be a restaurant, but it will always be, The Leard House.”