NEW PALESTINE — The Valentines like to make a big deal of meal time.

For decades, the family has passed down recipes and cherished sharing good times over home-cooked family meals.

Story continues below gallery

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

A couple of months ago, two members of the Valentine family decided to take over the old home of Jay Rae’s Eatery and Bakery, 28 E. Main St., and opened The Valentine’s Cafe.

The restaurant has been open for a couple of months now and is being run by Valentine family members, co-owners Annaleis Coakley and Gunnar Williams of Wanamaker.

The Valentine family is originally from Shelby County but traveled through the area often. When they saw the old Masonic building in New Palestine — which used to house Jay Rae’s — no longer was in use, they jumped at the chance to open their restaurant there.

One of the first things they did was make sure the inside had a fun-filled, family atmosphere. They put up hundreds of family photos on the main wall to showcase their love of family.

They have photos from eight generations on the wall, but more importantly, Gunnar said, they have decades of great family recipes to share with the community.

“It’s just good home cooking,” he said. “Good food, fair prices and a family atmosphere is what we’re all about.”

The restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on other days.

Their goal is to make it family-friendly, including a children-eat-free offering from 3 to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

They also offer a 15 percent discount for military, police and fire, along with a 10 percent discount for school workers and students who can show ID cards.

“That includes any kid and teachers,” Williams said.

The owners pride themselves on their country breakfast and different soup of the day offering, but their uncle, Lloyd Valentine, who was enjoying a late lunch at the cafe recently, said the tenderloin sandwich is really good.

The owners said they can make anything people want, even if it’s not on the menu, and they may even decide to keep an old Jay Rae’s favorite on the menu: the Dragon burger.

Author photo
Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or