Lisciandro’s Long-Time Employee Lightens The Mood | News, Sports, Jobs

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Antoinette (Toni) Hultin a long-time coworker, friend and stalwart of Lisciandro’s Restaurant takes a moment to say hello, during a busy shift, where she is a waitress and friend to many, Aug. 11.
Photo by Christopher J. Blakeslee

Life can be hard at times. Sometimes, it is so hard that we in the “Pearl City” forget there are bastions of hope and positivity all around us.

Here in Western New York, for many, time is a premium. Plus, negativity appears to take center-stage for many and can become overbearing. It can be easy for some to focus on the bad, ugly and all that which is wrong here. Negativity breeds negativity- it’s contagious.

However, this is not the case for Antoinette (Toni) Hultin, a longtime worker at Lisciandro’s Restaurant. The server has taken a different approach and philosophy about life that requires a little time investment on her part — one that her boss and customers have picked up on and is becoming contagious.

By all accounts, when one enters Lisciandro’s Restaurant on North Main Street, they are greeted by a smiling, happy and positive person. Enter, stage, left — Antoinette (Toni) Hultin. Hultin, has been employed at Lisciandro’s Restaurant and Family Eatery for more than 20 years. She loves to talk, listen or lend an ear to all, not only her customers, but those who are downtrodden or hard on their luck.

“She is always smiling and happy, even when having a bad day herself,” said Patricia (Patti) Larson, owner and operator of Lisciandro’s Restaurant. “She knows her customers and provides them with her full attention. All the time.”

Hultin’s positivity is extended to more than just her “regular” customers.

“Toni loves talking to tourists and finding out where they’re from and welcoming them to our restaurant,” said Larson.

While it appears that Hultin’s day is filled with social interactions, it’s not. She does work and fills in where and when needed.

“She is hardworking and will fill any gap needed to make sure every customer feels welcomed and enjoys their dining experience,” stated Larson.

Moreover, she’s always ready to lend an ear to those who seem a little down on their luck or upset.

“I went in for a quick bite and to take a break after making a delivery, before I started my drive back to Buffalo,” said Mike Thayer an independent truck driver based out of Buffalo. “Toni was my waitress, and within five-minutes, she found out my entire life story, pointed out some neat historical spots in town I may want to check out, and pointed out some of the relationship issues -which- are plaguing me and out country…. all in one breath.”

While this quick-witted and spunky, 5-foot tall bundle of awesomeness is fun to be around, it’s the intangible benefits she bestows upon all she encounters.

“I’ve been coming here for years,” said one dinner customer. “Toni is always my waitress. She always has a funny comment, joke or something to lighten the day, plus she’s the ‘news-center’ of town. If you want to know something, who’s doing what or who the next president will be-she’s got you covered.”

Haultin, by all accounts, is a force of positivity to be reckoned with. Her gifts for uplifting those who just need a boost or those who need an ear to listen, she’s got them all covered. However, the real benefactors are all those in Pearl City, who make her acquaintance and are better off. This alone makes Haultin one of those places, faces and spaces which makes Jamestown a great place.

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