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Picayune People: Blue Bonnet Cafe proprietor Lindsay Plante treasures tradition and community

Blue Bonnet Cafe's Lindsay Plante

Lindsay Plante and husband Dave took over the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls 15 years ago. Staff photo by David Bean

Every year, Lindsay Plante mails almost 22,000 blue Happy Birthday postcards to Blue Bonnet Cafe patrons statewide. It’s just one of many community-minded activities this Marble Falls native carries out on a daily basis.

The cards are good for a free meal at the 90-year-old Marble Falls eatery that she and husband Dave took over 15 years ago. They are carrying on a tradition started by Lindsay’s parents, Belinda and John Kemper, when they bought this beloved piece of Marble Falls history in 1980.

“The postcards go along with the tradition and historic nature of the Blue Bonnet Cafe,” Plante said. “Sometimes, we question whether or not we should continue the program, then we’ll receive a handwritten note from a customer who thanks us for their card or tells us a special story about their experiences at the Blue Bonnet, and it all seems worthwhile.”

Although Lindsay first started working at the family business in middle school, she didn’t do it to learn the ropes and eventually take over. She was earning money for a waterbed. Her thoughts about the future took her outside of her hometown, and even the United States. In high school, she studied in the United Kingdom and Australia — the first Marble Falls student to study abroad. After graduating in 1996, she attended Texas Christian University, where she earned degrees in marketing, advertising, and public relations.

A job with the Fort Worth Fire hockey team followed college. That’s where she met Dave, a New Hampshire native working in the team’s public relations and marketing department.

As a married couple, they began to explore location and career possibilities, filling out separate questionnaires designed to determine what they each wanted to do with their lives. Both quizzes spit out the same answer: live in Marble Falls and work at the Blue Bonnet.

Lindsay and Dave moved home in March 2005, quickly adapting their multiple skills to maintaining and building on the Blue Bonnet’s status as an iconic Hill Country chat ’n’ chew.

The couple knows how important the Blue Bonnet Cafe is to the community.

“It’s fair to say it’s definitely a brand,” Lindsay said. “We’re basically in the bluebonnet capital, and we capitalize on the bluebonnet flower.”

It’s also a great place to meet and eat.

While the Blue Bonnet keeps her busy, Lindsay also spends time working in the community. She is president of the board of directors of the Phoenix Center, a nonprofit mental health care provider. She has been on the board since the organization began in 2007 and has taught yoga to its clients and families.

Plante sits on the dyslexia committee at Faith Academy of Marble Falls and helps raise funds to support dyslexia services at the school. In addition, she serves on the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.

“I was interested in that because I’m a business-minded person,” she said. “I’m interested in what happens within the city’s economy. What happens in the community and how it grows is important to me.”