As you step inside our door at 860 Elm Street, we hope you will take a moment to look to your left. On the wall you will now find a beautiful photo of our building. The story behind this is just magical, full of serendipity and has turned a Manchester woman into an entrepreneur under the guidance of another Manchester business owner!
Our Diz’s Café friends know our owner (and Diz’s wife), Judi. Our story begins nearly a year ago when Judi, looking for artwork to hang in the restaurant illustrating Manchester’s rich history, saw a picture of the exterior of Diz’s Café on Instagram. In today’s age of social media (and in the midst of a pandemic), Judi reached out to the owner of the Instagram page and began an ongoing, somewhat anonymous dialogue using the hashtag “mystery”.
This dialogue continued for a few weeks. Teasing Judi a bit more, the owner of the page posted a picture of a Diz’s meal while Judi happened to be in the restaurant! Supersleuth Judi turned to her investigative skills and researched who purchased that particular meal, and lo and behold, the online “mystery” was solved. And a friendship – and mentorship – began!
Aspiring photographer Stephanie LeClerc can often be found exploring Manchester with her best friend walking – day or night – down streets, through alleys, in parks and over bridges. With a keen eye for “seeing how everything can be beautiful in its own way, depending how you look at it”, Stephanie began documenting her travels by taking photos with her smartphone.
Encouraged by her best friend, Stephanie created an Instagram account, Qapturing the Queen City, and began posting her photos (including her beautifully prepared Diz’s Café meals!). When she and supersleuth Judi finally met, Judi asked Stephanie to take a photo of our building for us. She did – with her smartphone.
Knowing Stephanie would need additional equipment and education to take her hobby to the next level, her parents purchased a used camera and a new laptop to help Stephanie explore her passion. As Stephanie’s birthday approached, friends and family gifted her money towards the purchase of a new camera to keep her inspired. New mentor Judi suggested Stephanie take Photoshop courses at Manchester’s own Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications to learn how to edit and produce her work for display.
Stephanie’s first large-scale artwork photo sale is now found at the entrance of our restaurant (and on our website you will find her original photo, taken with her smartphone). When it was time for Judi to process the payment for this beautiful piece of art, Stephanie did not know how to process her business’ first sale. Mentor Judi sat with Stephanie at the Diz’s Cafe window, and guided Stephanie through the process of opening her very own LLC, “Qapturing the Queen City”. Stephanie’s new business continues to grow – with restaurants and other businesses as far away as Boston using her keen eye to “qapture” their businesses as well!
A 2011 Manchester Central graduate, Stephanie still works her “day job” as a rental coordinator with Hooksett’s Custom Truck One Source. We are excited for her future and proud to have her first professional artwork sale hanging in our restaurant. And yes, her photos are available for purchase (follow “Qapturing the Queen City” on Instagram and DM her for details)!