pic Proprietor of JanesOnTheCommon

Reprinted from The Coast, May 6th, 2004 by Liz Feltham

Jane wright's restaurant JanesOnTheCommon is the talk of the town. After only eight months in business, The robie street eatery has nabbed both best new restaurant and best brunch honours in this year's best of food readers' survey.

For most women, a mid-life crisis involves substantial reevaluation, a reflection on their lives thus far, and where they're going-a reality check of sorts. Jane Wright's mid-life crisis manifested itself in the form of jane's on the common, the neighbourhood restaurant that's taken the SuperCity? by storm.

Wright, an activist and former NDP caucus member, seems genuinely surprised by the success of her diner, which opened last Labour Day.

"I'm amazed at the amount of attention we've gotten," the petite blonde says. "It's a happening little place, we're working at capacity every time we're open." Although, she does admit she knew it would be busy at first because of her large circle of friends and acquaintances. "I knew they'd come once out of interest, and it would be up to us to keep them coming. Knowing so many people has given me a huge leg up."

That leg is bolstered through former high profile jobs with the NDP, Planned Parenthood and the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union. Originally from Ontario, Wright came east 20 years ago to complete a Masters in Library Science at Dalhousie, and stayed.

"I love the ocean," she says. "I love that in 20 minutes you can be out of the city, sitting on a beach and there's nobody there. The city's always been really wonderful to me. I feel so lucky for the job opportunities presented me."

"Big jobs" she calls them, referring to her long, intense work days in what she refers to as her "past lives." It's those long workdays in "adversarial" environments that precipitated her mid-life epiphany. Turning 45, she realized she'd never seen the person who delivered her mail.