February 2024 Editor's Note: Local Legacies Carry On
by stephanie toews, executive editor
If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.Maya Angelou
Reflecting on my childhood in Billings, numerous core memories revolve around local places. The summertime walks to Softies, the excitement of dance recitals on stage at Alberta Bair Theater, delicious dinner at The Happy Diner or pizza and Pac-Man sessions at Village Inn, and playing on the train at West Park Plaza stand out vividly. While some local spots have faded away, others have transformed, upgraded, changed ownership, and are flourishing. It brings me joy to see my children enjoy the same places that defined my youth. Caramel Cookie Waffle, once a post-orthodontist appointment treat, has now become a delight for my daughter. A Mustangs baseball game at Cobb Field was a perfect summer evening, and now Dehler Park is our family’s summer tradition. Our Magic City holds a multitude of beloved people and places!
Our Local Feature spotlights several community businesses that have undergone ownership changes yet continue to carry on legacies, offering incredible products and services to our city. In this month’s Meet the Maker², we introduce a couple of resident artists—one familiar face and one fresh face, each sharing their unique talents to adorn the spaces where their artwork is shared. The 2024 Early Education Guide is here to guide parents in making crucial decisions about the first educational experiences for our littlest locals. A neighborhood favorite Dutch dining experience, Caramel Cookie Waffle, continues to delight under new ownership while staying true to its original bakers, recipes, and employees. Our Home section inspires us to love where we live with expert advice on transforming our closets from fair to fabulous. Dive into our Indulge. Create. Inspire. issue and relish all of the goodness within!
This month marks 16 years of Simply Local serving as our community’s cheerleader! With a mission to share hopeful, complex stories and celebrate good news with enthusiasm, we aim to foster love among neighbors, inspiration to thrive in this place we call home, and support local businesses and community members. We believe in the transformative power of coming together, weaving beauty and lasting connections within the confines of our homes, extending to our neighborhoods, and resonating throughout our city — a legacy of love and life to be cherished and passed on. Whether you’re a long-time resident of Billings or brand new here, we know you’ll discover what a marvelous place it is and the many friendly places and faces that make up our community. Thanks for taking Simply Local along for the ride.
The Stroopwafel Scoop: Continuing the Legacy
Caramel Cookie Waffles café and cookies have long been a Billings staple. After a change in ownership with the retirement of its wonderful founders, the legacy of this hidden gem continues, and it’s all thanks to the dedicated staff and commitment to its tradition of consistency and quality.
Meet the Maker (squared)
Meet Karyn, a respected painter whose art can be found in restaurants, coffee houses, and modern homes both locally and nationally, and Sadie, who is popping onto the scene as a rising star in the artist world. Both draw inspiration from their love of nature and their surroundings as they lean into the canvas with a brush. Click here to find out where their creativity began, what they are doing now, and where they are headed in the future.