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Community donates $78,000 to Nathan's Greenleaf Café to purchase building

Needing $70,000 for a down payment the café took to Facebook to announce they would be closing. The Greenleaf community came together with an overwhelming response.

BOISE, Idaho — The future of Nathan's Greenleaf Café was uncertain up until this week. 

The owners of the café have rented the space for more than six years. Since 2015, the café brought regulars and tourists alike, becoming a staple in the Greenleaf community.

Dave Milburn has visited Nathan's Greenleaf Café regularly since it first opened.

"How many restaurants do you go to where you see your name up on the bulletin board saying Happy Birthday?" Milburn said. “At a certain time of the day, you can find out a whole lot about your community; who's garden's growing and who's not, who's watering and all this long table. Certain time of the day, you can find out who's naughty and who's nice."

When looking at the bustling café, it’s hard to imagine the future of the Greenleaf establishment was uncertain a few days ago.

“Our lease was up, and we just didn't know financially how we could proceed,” one of the café owners, Michaela Daniels said. 

Roger Daniels runs the café with his son, Nathan and daughter-in-law, Michaela. Daniels said his landlords decided to no longer continue leasing the building, but rather wished to sell it.

"What I was worried about was not my family, my family is fine, but what I was worried about was all of these people," Roger said. "Where are they going to go? Where are they going to meet, because this is the meeting place."

According to Roger, the property owner was asking $350,000 for Nathan's Greenleaf Café. Karen Perry, who owns the building, said her intention to sell was something that had been discussed with the owners for years.

"In 2019, my husband was diagnosed with an aneurysm and that's when we first approached him with the sale agreement and he signed it and we told him that we wanted to be done," Perry said.

Since then, Perry said they agreed to renew the lease and sale agreements three years in a row, but this year they wanted to sell the café for good.

“We were business owners and we decided to sell something. It's like somebody selling their house,” Perry said. “I don't wish them ill at all, I hope they succeed and prosper in the community.”

According to Roger, they needed $70,000 for a down payment, but did not have the needed funds. The café took to Facebook to tell the community they would be closing. 

The Greenleaf community came together and the response was overwhelming.

In two weeks, Nathan's Greenleaf Café brought in more than $78,000 in donations.

"That's a really good tip, way beyond a good tip,” Roger said.

On Monday, May 23, the Daniels purchased the building.

"Everything in this building is everyone's,” Michaela said. “We have had people help make booths, redo cushions, our customers bring in our décor, so this building is Greenleaf.”

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