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LaDonna's owner persists following loss of husband

Posted at 7:07 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 22:39:13-04

Nearly one year after losing her husband, LaDonna White is still pushing through and running the business that they started together.

Ladonna’s was originally opened in 2018 in Atascadero by LaDonna White and Aaron Ezell.

White and Ezell would get married in the fall of 2020.

“On our first date we were having lunch and I asked Aaron what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to build a restaurant. It took us a year for us to build this,” said White.

The couple exchanged their vows in marriage while their restaurant was shut down due to the pandemic.

On December 7th 2020, Ezell would unexpectedly die due to a heart attack at the age of 41, four months after their marriage.

“On the way to the hospital, the last thing Aaron said was I don’t want to lose the restaurant and the last thing I said was we won’t. We re-opened a week later,” said White.

Following his passing, LaDonna worked by herself while trying to balance life with two kids on her own.

“I wish he was here to see he was right. He gave me and the children a gift,” said White.

“She’s the most resilient woman that I know,” said White’s best friend, Joanna Nowinski.

Thanks to the help of Nowinski, who took over Aaron’s spot at the bar, the restaurant is thriving.

“I came to help out and here we are 10 months later and I’m still helping out and I love it, it’s really been fun,” said Nowinski.

And her customers walk with her in her journey to a better tomorrow.

“I know all of my customers personally, they’ve become my family,” said White.

“It’s amazing to see the same customers coming and loving on her and she loves back,” said Nowinski.

“She has a strong will and desire to keep her legacy of the restaurant going and to keep the legacy of Aaron going,” said customer Barbara Edmonston.

“They were just truly a lovely couple, very loving, you could tell how much they truly were in love, and they were such a team,” said customer Amy Holloway.

“We just trusted each other, he rocked the bar and I rocked the kitchen and we were a great team,” said White.