The Kulda family has brought the spirit of Christmas and their cherished family tradition to Yesterday’s restaurant. A huge walk through wreath adorns the front door of the restaurant, located at 29 Main St. in the Village of Warwick.
William Kudla first created the huge wreath in 1958 for the front porch of his home in Wayne, NJ. William, the owner of a small floral supply business, had help from his six children in making the wreath from winter greens. The favorite part of Christmas for the Kudla family was to take a family photo while standing inside the wreath.
Over the years, as William began to age, it became more difficult for him to continue the tradition on his home. In 2007, his daughter, Kim, asked permission if she could take the frame and create the wreath for her house on Mountainside Rd. in Warwick, which she did. This year, William’s daughter, Darlene Kulda-Grasso, who works at Yesterday’s restaurant, with permission from her sisters and help from family and friends, created the walk through wreath for the restaurant.
“As a new employee at Yesterdays, I was welcomed with open arms. The owners of the restaurant, John and Peggy Christison, treat their employees and customers like family. I felt right at home from the start,” said Darlene Kulda-Grasso.
The wreath was also created in honor of Darlene’s father, William, who is now 92 years old. The family has not only brought joy to the patrons of the Yesterdays with their unique family heirloom, they have also shared their joy of Christmas with all of Warwick.
John Christison said that both he and his wife, Peggy, feel honored that the Kudla family has shared this wonderful family tradition with his establishment. This act of kindness reminds John of the memories he has of his father, who planted trees all throughout Manhattan in the 1940s – two of those trees were at Rockefeller Center in 1946 and 1947, respectively.
“It’s great that the family gave us the wreath to put out so people can enjoy it. Everyone loves it and it looks like it was made just for Yesterday’s because it fits perfectly,” said Christison.