From elementary school to George Mason University to the play pens of their entertainment businesses, Gary and Diane Reedy have been together. Instead of what was supposed to be a long awaited retirement ahead of the 41st anniversary, the couple decided to opt for something different: running a brunch and breakfast spot in RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road).
Famous Toastery had its first official opening on Monday (April 15), after a soft opening this weekend. All sales over the weekend were donated to Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that the couple said embodies their mission of serving the community. Diane brings a heightened awareness of socio-economic struggle after years of traveling Africa and Asia for the World Bank, while her husband, Gary, reflects on previous experiences as a high school teacher and coach. Their partnership roots back to years in high school when Gary, who calls himself a former jock, dated Diane, who was a straight-A student.
Before opening the 3,300-square-foot restaurant at the mixed use center, the couple built several businesses, including Planet Play in Plaza America, some of the first laser tags in the area, a carousel in Springfield Mall for 12 years, and other entertainment businesses. Since then, they’ve sold off their ventures and opted for Famous Toastery, which is open for breakfast and lunch.
“The problem is that we can’t ever stop. I can’t play golf every single day,” Gary said, chuckling. “We’ve had our careers and retirements and a couple of kids. Sometimes I wonder how we did it all, but we’re young at heart and we want to stay involved.”
Although he lives in Loudoun County, Gary says Reston is a special community because it combines what he says are the best elements of work and family life. His wife agrees.
“Simon’s vision for Reston was to include people from all different kinds of backgrounds, ” Diane said. “It was really meant to be an integrated community and its benefited from a lot of public involvement and will continue to benefit from a lot of public involvement.”
As the Famous Toastery kicks off, they hope to continue partnering with the community after spending most of their lives in Fairfax County. “We’ve gotten out of the night business,” Gary said. “Reston is still really growing and we look forward to growing with it.”
Famous Toastery has two other Virginia locations. It was started in 2005 in Huntersville, NC in a small house. The owners turned the concept into a franchise in 2013.
Photo via Carlos Banos