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Fifteen Minutes with Deja Vu and Gironda's Owner Karline Niver

09/23/2015 10:14PM ● Published by Kimberly Boney

Gallery: More photos [4 Images] Click any image to expand.

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October 2015
By Kimberly Boney
Photo: Erin Claassen

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF: I attended Red Bluff High School and have lived in Redding for 18 years. I have three children, Woodson, Whitney, and Annie, along with my husband’s children Sarah and P.J. My husband Eric and I have been married for 11 years. I enjoy cooking, hiking, boating and working out. I love to go to Mt. Shasta and McCloud. I love Disneyland! And marshmallows! I am a huge animal lover. Tucker is my 9-year-old Lhasa Apso Yorkie mix – he has no idea he’s not one of the kids.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS? 34 years. I worked at The Green Barn in Red Bluff before owning The Snack Box on Main Street in Red Bluff. We sold that restaurant and then opened Déjà Vu. Both places have specialized in breakfast and lunch, but Déjà Vu also serves specialty coffees.

DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO OWN A RESTAURANT (OR TWO, FOR THAT MATTER)? I had no idea that’s the direction my life would take. I have always loved serving people and feeding people. I feel very fortunate to be in a business in which I can do what makes my heart happy.

TELL US ABOUT DÉJÀ VU: I have about 23 employees and we are extremely blessed to have such an incredible staff. We serve breakfast and lunch from 7 am until 2 pm. We have Eggs Benedict, homemade corned beef hash, omelets, french dips, hot pastramis and – believe it or not – amazing fish tacos. We are known for our huge biscuits and large portions. We have a great coffeehouse inside the restaurant that we lovingly call “Javu.” We serve a variety of coffees, smoothies and pastries. The cinnamon rolls and sticky buns are fantastic.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST POPULAR ITEM? Our BAS Eggs Benedict – it’s loaded with bacon, avocado and spinach and it’s delicious. Our omelets are pretty popular, too.

OK, SO WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE? It’s a toss-up between the BAS Benedict, the fish tacos and the Conductor sandwich. It’s hard to choose!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT OWNING A BUSINESS? I love building relationships with my customers and seeing them on a regular basis. I love it when the restaurant is full and I hear people talking, laughing and eating. It’s like having people at your house, having a great time and not having to do all the dishes. Being a part of the community I grew up in and raised my kids in is very important to me.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF BEING A RESTAURATEUR? This business is very consuming. You have to find balance and you have to love it because there are daily challenges.

WE HEAR YOU HAVE RECENTLY BECOME THE OWNER OF A SECOND RESTAURANT IN THE NORTH STATE. Yes! I’m now the proud owner of Gironda’s Italian Restaurant. I have known Jim and Penny Gironda for about 20 years. Jim shared with me that his health would prevent him from keeping the restaurant. I let him know that I was interested in buying the property and the nextthing I knew, we were in the process of changing ownership.

 WHAT CHANGES DO YOU PLAN TO IMPLEMENT AT GIRONDA’S? I have simplified the menu and added some local wine. I have added some personal touches and implemented Happy Hour from 4 to 6 pm, Monday through Friday.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO KEEP THE SAME? I am keeping the name Gironda’s. I will continue to provide the great service, great food and atmosphere Gironda’s is known for. It’s a landmark here in Redding. Also, I’ll be focusing on the Rotachini on the appetizer menu. Jim and Penny created them and they are delicious!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN THE NORTH STATE? It is so beautiful, and the people that live here are loving and kind-hearted.

WHEN YOU AREN’T BUSY RUNNING TWO POPULAR LOCAL EATERIES, WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO EAT? Well, my secret will be out! I love Cookies and Yogurt, El Rinconcito, Shameless O’ Leerys and Janya’s Thai. I tend to stay with the mom-and-pops.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Raising three of the most amazing people in my life - Woody, Whitney and Annie. I am very proud of all of them. They are kind, loving,
generous, smart and each of them have helped me tremendously in all my endeavors. We laugh, we work, we play, we live and we love.

WHAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT MOST? I would like to tell you I don’t worry. But I have to say it’s that I am doing my best all the time. What feels right in my heart is what really matters.

WHAT IS THE MANTRA YOU LIVE BY? Love what you do and do what you love. It will show, and what greater success can there be?

Food+Dining, In Print
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