PORTLAND - Tracy MacDougall and Scott Granahan started Station Café Portland with a big bang this past August.

To their surprise, opening day was a line-up of people out the door - including Rideau Canal boaters - who were more than ready to wait to try the Portland's new breakfast and lunch eatery. The couple had predicted a quieter opening.

"It's been amazing and it just feels right," says Tracy, adding they were overjoyed with the amount of community support they received right away. It also helped that a neighbouring family business, Bayview Yacht Harbour, sent out an email to their boating customers telling them of the opening.

In fact the eatery has taken off so quickly, Tracy and Scott needed to call in friend Kristina Burns, a well-known local with 30 years of food service, to help with demand.

"She's been by our side ever since," says Tracy, adding they work together to re-create some of the best comfort recipes of their grandmothers along with new twists on favourites. Within just a few months, they have earned a five-star Google rating for their food.

The café is open for 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays). Breakfast fans can choose from a great selection, ranging from freshly-baked sweets to "Station style" toast with poached eggs. There are croissants like the Big Rideau Croissant, wraps and breakfast sandwiches, fresh-brewed coffee, and a selection of teas.

There is an emphasis on healthy, fresh ingredients and they already have a "Station Favourites" section on the menu. There are lunch specials, including the popular chicken quesadilla, and soup of the day. Check out the Lakeside Salad or the Portland Chicken Club. Boaters have been fans of the Station's 'to go' charcuterie boards and protein boxes.

"This is where we want to be. We love the waterway, the fresh air and the people," says Scott, who has plans to add a patio with an outdoor pizza oven, smoker and grill. Inside and after extensive renovations, they have created a bright space designed to be relaxing and comforting. There are barnboard highlights taken from wood on their own property. Many of their customers tell stories of working in the building when it housed other businesses in the past.

Scott and Tracy had envisioned owning a café one day. They thought it would be years down the road but the idea was pushed forward when they purchased the property at 2786 Highway 15, with a view of Big Rideau Lake. Initially it was to house an office and storage space for their Ignis Services Canada business, an emergency training, security and protection services company.

Tracy and Scott have added a section with local art work, items such as soaps and honey, for sale. "It's little unique things people will be intrigued by," says Tracy. Christmas trinkets are arriving soon. Learn more by visiting their Facebook page. You can give them a call at 613-972-9700 or send them an email.