Retired Madawaska Police Chief Ross DuBois (left) and his wife Karen DuBois will open a new restaurant in the town soon. Credit: Courtesy of Ross DuBois

MADAWASKA, Maine — Family recipes passed down for generations will inspire the menu at a new Madawaska restaurant that will be run by retired Police Chief Ross DuBois and his wife, Karen.

A hobby baker, DuBois said he will prepare desserts from recipes shared by his maternal grandmother and may even whip up some bread-and-butter pickles from an old family recipe.

The couple purchased the historic Fraser Mansion at 121 Fraser Ave., where they will open DuBois’ Restaurant near the end of the month. They hope to draw tourists to the small border town.

“It does give people another destination to come to in Madawaska. Hopefully when they come here they will also stop to get gas and maybe go to a store,” DuBois said.

DuBois, 57, left policing April 8 after 34 years of law enforcement service in Madawaska, wearing the chief’s hat for the last six. He said he will miss the relationships he formed with other officers during his career.

“You end up forming really close relationships and it becomes a brotherhood and a sisterhood, but it was time. I think I was ready to let the younger guys take over,” DuBois said.

Karen DuBois, who has been married to Ross DuBois for 35 years, is the district principal for SAD 24 in Van Buren. The couple are new to the restaurant business, but have talked over the years about opening a bed and breakfast one day. The Fraser Mansion was up for sale at a reasonable price just as Ross DuBois was talking about retirement.  

DuBois’ Restaurant will include everything from steak tips, which is Ross DuBois’ go-to dinner, to the seafood his wife tends to favor such as salmon, shrimp and scallops.

Baked goods will include cheesecake, carrot cake and Acadian sugar pie from recipes by Ross DuBois’ maternal grandmother, Isabelle Plourde. He uses Plourde’s recipe to preserve his own bread-and-butter pickles each fall.

The restaurant will staff 10 employees.

With today’s job market it’s hard for employers to find staff in any field, but the couple have been surprised to have people reach out to them for work, DuBois said.

The restaurant will offer a comfortable, family-oriented dining experience, he said.

“Everything on the menu customers should be able to pronounce and not have to point at it for the server to pronounce,” he said.

A Facebook page for DuBois’ Restaurant received more than 12,000 page views in the first few days.

The couple aims to open by the end of the month.

For the first few weeks dine in will be by reservation only to allow employees a chance to settle into their roles at the new business.

DuBois said they have been overwhelmed and appreciative of all of the support and well wishes they’ve received from all over The County.  

The couple has three adult children and eight grandchildren. They live with their two dogs named after Ross DuBois’ grandmother, Izzy and Bella.

DuBois is certain he’s ready to get to work in his new venture.

“I’ve watched every episode with Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay, so I think I’m well experienced,” he joked.