Kelly Vaughn

About 40 years ago, Ralph and Kay Nye opened a little café in Lake Montezuma, a wide spot on the road off Interstate 17 south of Sedona. Cricket’s was a mainstay in the small community and was popular with residents and road-trippers. Ralph, who helped maintain the telescope at Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory for decades, built the adobe-brick building that housed the café by hand, while Kay developed one of its most iconic offerings: a gooey, savory cinnamon roll.

But by 2019, the Nyes were ready to retire and close Cricket’s. A group of neighbors rallied and decided they’d do anything they could to preserve the neighborhood’s favorite gathering place. “We created a company called Moonlit Garden to buy the café and rebrand it as a lovely French-style breakfast and lunch bistro called Peach Tree Café,” says owner Jacques Cazo Seronde, who’s also an artist and the founder and director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Flagstaff. 

And while the COVID-19 pandemic compromised many dining establishments, Seronde and his team used the time to renovate. They added an expansive outdoor dining area, upgraded the sound system, and planted an English garden and several fruit trees. 

“The idea,” Seronde says, “was to maintain the community gathering place of Cricket’s but also offer an elevated yet cozy dining experience for the folks who live and work in the Verde Valley and guests alike.” 

Cricket’s beloved cinnamon rolls remain a staple, and fans of the previous restaurant will still find enchiladas on the menu, too. “Our enchiladas are made from a Santa Fe recipe,” Seronde says. “They have a genuine not-too-hot but uniquely smooth and piquant flavor that most people have never experienced.”

Among the new elements is a European vibe to the café and its grounds: Sunlight, white curtains, dark hardwood and a Spanish-style porch characterize the space. But more than anything, Seronde says, Peach Tree Café is about community. 

“We’re proud that our café is making a contribution to providing our community a beautiful and delicious place to get together,” he says. “We also own and manage a small local farm that provides super-fresh, locally grown produce. Our healthy, fresh organic juices are curated by two refugees from Ukraine whom our café staff has proudly helped get a new, safe start in their life. We are committed to people.”

Peach Tree Café is open for breakfast and lunch Thursdays through Mondays. 

Business Information

Peach Tree Café
4225 Zuni Way
Lake Montezuma, AZ
United States