Since opening her first restaurant, Cora has changed the eating habits of an entire generation.
The adventure began in May 1987, when Cora bought a small diner in Montreal’s Saint-Laurent district. After just a few months of operation, Cora changed the diner mission, making breakfasts her specialty. Combining fruit, cheese, cereal, omelettes, crepes and French toast, culinary magician Cora started a whole new breakfast concept in Quebec.
Inspired by family traditions, customer requests and sometimes outlandish suggestions from her children, Cora designed her new breakfasts to coincide with the new trends toward healthy eating. One by one, she improved the traditional breakfast dishes and then conjured up a hundred others.
Every new creation merited its own colourful illustration, which was then posted on the wall of the little Côte-Vertu diner. The menu imagery was used in the now-famous signage that still decorates each Cora restaurant.
Soon, the little Côte-Vertu establishment grew to be such a success that the boss’s children had to quit school to help out. Even back then, going out for breakfast at Chez Cora Déjeuners was a morning gastronomic adventure par excellence.
Cora sales philosophy: "Offer the highest quality ingredients and service, give people the best and they will come. If we serve the best breakfasts in town, why would they go somewhere else?". Very quickly, Cora's reputation for great breakfasts far exceeded the small diner's capacity to meet demand. So the family decided that mom would open a second Cora, while her children managed the little Côte-Vertu establishment.
In February 1990, the new restaurant on Saint Martin Boulevard in Laval generated a lot of press, reinforcing the success of the new breakfast concept. A few months later, partnering with a former co-worker, Cora opened a third establishment in a large, defunct restaurant that was three times the size of the first two. The success of this new restaurant quickly led to the opening of five more Chez Cora Déjeuners. The Cora family continued to grow and several new partners were introduced to the secrets of successful entrepreneurship, with the founder's children being the first to train the new business partners in the foundations of this winning formula.
Today, the Cora family includes over 130 franchised restaurants. And the adventure is just beginning!