Thank you so much for your interest in Haven’s Café and the story behind it! We are the Hamiltons and we are so excited to have the opportunity to take our many years of restaurant industry knowledge and experience and serve our community and those who visit it! Haven’s Café is absolutely the realization of our lifelong dream, and we hope you enjoy your experience here as much as we enjoy creating it!
First a little background on us. Derrick grew up in Arlington, TX with a great work ethic and awesome family. He went on to college at Texas Tech getting his undergrad in Marketing. During this time his passion for food blossomed and he went on to get his Masters in Hotel & Restaurant Management also from Tech. Derrick got his feet wet cooking at South Seas Plantation, even getting to play with a chainsaw doing ice carvings. He went on to get his associates at culinary school in Charleston, South Carolina. As in most things in life earning a degree is fantastic but it’s actual experience in the field where you earn your stripes and grow in your knowledge. While in Charleston Derrick had the opportunity to cook under Chef Jason Schultz at High Cotton on King Street. It was here that Derrick truly learned the ins and outs of the industry and an appreciation for high quality food. Throughout the last 20+ years later Derrick has had the opportunity to cook and manage restaurants all over the country. From Florida to North and South Carolina, to Colorado and of course his home state of Texas. He’s cooked at resorts like being the Sous Chef at C Lazy U guest ranch, was the Sous Chef of Winter Park Ski Resort, while also running many Mom and Pop establishments along the way.
I grew up in coastal Massachusetts and never imagined a future life in Texas. I got my start in the restaurant industry at 14 where I hostessed and bussed at a local Italian restaurant. I went on to waitress for summers throughout highschool. For college I traveled cross country to Denver attending and earning my BA from University of Denver. It was during this time that I met Derrick on a dude ranch in the mountains of Colorado. After graduating I moved up to Winter Park to be closer to Derrick. While in Winter Park Derrick and I had our first opportunity working restaurants together and we found that we actually complimented each other well. We worked together four years at Randi’s, and during that time I also was a Barista/server mornings at a phenomenal Bakery/Café called Carver’s. Both Randi’s and Carver’s are still there today and we had a blast taking our kids and showing them where we used to work. We married in 2006 and while on our 3 month RV honeymoon found Carolina Beach, North Carolina and began planning our move that way. We traded the ski bum life for the beach for the next four years and worked together again.
But when it came time to grow up and start a family of our own moving closer to Derrick’s amazing family in Texas made the most sense. We spent time in Arlington, Glen Rose, Fort Worth and prior to Winnsboro, 5 years in Weatherford.
Derrick and I moved our family to Winnsboro, Texas in December of 2020. We had some dear friends move this way and after going for a visit we fell in love with the area too! We found our little dream farmhouse and it was a no brainer to make the move. Over many porch sits and dinner conversations the concept for Haven’s Café emerged. With our grade school children, Hinton (10) and Haven (8) it was important to keep our family life a priority. A breakfast and lunch café really fit the bill for allowing us to work while the kids were in school and be home for family dinners and evening activities. After spending time in the community and understanding it’s needs, it was clear there was a real void for coffee, breakfast and lunch options. Just one mile from our front door we found the perfect space for our dream to become a reality. Through the help of an amazing friend we purchased the property at 303 N Main Street and began the process of opening Haven’s Café.
Opening Haven’s Cafe is a fulfillment of Derrick and my dream of working for ourselves and running our own place! Derrick and I will be extremely hands on so look for us in the front and back of the house whenever you come in. We are so excited to serve the Winnsboro community and are so appreciative of all the encouragement and support we have received in the process of opening Haven’s! Thank you!