By Danielle Ray, Senior Reporter

Naveen Girgis, owner of Princeton House of Pizza, recently opened another restaurant, Prince Café at 23 Hubbardston Rd. next door to the pizza shop. 

“Our family loves cooking and eating food, especially breakfast,” Girgis said. “At the pizza shop we have both lunch and dinner, but we were missing breakfast. That’s why we have decided to make a separate restaurant where people can enjoy a nice breakfast plate with their family. We love seeing families having a great time here at Prince Café, laughing, smiling and just genuinely being happy.”

Prince Café officially opened on April 4 and has been well received in the community. Girgis operates the two eateries with help from her husband and their two daughters. The family moved to Rutland almost nine years from Mendon. 

“We decided to move here to have a better commute to Princeton House of Pizza,” she said, adding that when they were searching for a pizza shop to purchase 12 years ago, they did some research on Princeton. 

“We heard many great things about the people in the town of Princeton,” she said. “Princeton is such a lovely town and completely fits our style, we are so happy we chose it. The people in this town are the most supportive people ever.”

Girgis said their experience with customers from the area and beyond over the years has been “awesome.” 

“Everyone is extremely supportive of us and we are beyond thankful for owning a business in a town with the kindest people ever,” she said. “The pizza shop is a lot of hard work, but our lovely customers make it so worth it, and we are also looking forward to that at Prince Café. We have formed so many friendships over the past 12 years and we are so happy to form more.”

Girgis said they offer “classic breakfast” items at the cafe including stuffed French toast with homemade strawberry sauce, croissants, baked goods, pancakes of all varieties, and ‘Eggs Irish’ that features their house-made hollandaise sauce and corned beef hash, a favorite among patrons.

“We always wanted to expand our menu to breakfast because it is our favorite meal of the day,” she said. “It took us a while to make this decision but when we decided to open up Prince Café, we have received so much love and support from our customers over at the pizza shop.”

They also offer lunch dishes including chicken marsala over rice, and homemade soups of the day including clam chowder. The warm and welcoming restaurant features colorful paintings by Princeton artist Bruce Dean on the walls. 

Girgis said she feels their pizza shop and café stand out because their family “has plenty of experience in the food business industry.” She said that although it has been “tough” opening a business during a pandemic, they were happy to do so as a way to offer their patrons more food options. 

“Our customers make it so worth it,” Girgis said, adding that they follow all the necessary safety protocols including sanitizing, cleaning, social distancing, wearing face masks, etc., “to keep everyone safe.”

Girgis said they “wish the best” to everyone during these challenging and unprecedented times, including fellow small businesses. 

“We know it can be very hard for businesses during this pandemic,” she said. “We truly believe that it is so important that all businesses support each other because we are all in the same boat. We support all businesses around us, and we hope for everyone to do well during these difficult times.”

For now, they are thankful to their customers, both the loyal and new ones, who continue to support their family businesses. 

We are so grateful for the pleasure of serving you and hope we met your expectations,” Girgis said. “We thank you so much for your support. There are not enough words to describe how much we appreciate our customers. Our family truly appreciates your business, we look forward to serving you always. We are so grateful for the trust you’ve placed in us.”

Prince Café is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call 978-464-2324 and follow Prince Café on Facebook and Instagram.