But instead of opening gifts, Wilfong, 40, is opening a restaurant - actually re-opening one.
This Friday, Wilfong will re-open the historic Niland's Café, at the corner of Lincoln Highway and Highway 65. Wilfong will manage the restaurant, which is owned by the Colo Development Group.
A resident of State Center, Wilfong was excited to learn about the opportunity to manage a restaurant so close to home. She has been in the restaurant, motel, catering business for 10 years, and presently owns a café in Des Moines, Sandy's Café, which she has had for nine years. Wilfong said she plans to continue her ownership of that café trusting that her excellent staff there can handle the day-to-day operations.
The Niland's Café opportunity came about for Wilfong when a friend asked her if she'd be interested. The friend was wanting to use the Niland's Café for a family reunion and found out that the Colo Development Group was looking for someone to manage the restaurant.
"I fell in-love with it, because I love the '50s style and the history," Wilfong said.
Wilfong is utilizing the restaurant's ties to the past and to the historic Lincoln Highway as a way to bring about a restaurant theme "where the past meets the present."
Coca-Cola is a big part of her theme - she has put a Coca-Cola sign in the front window and has made a salad bar that looks like a Coca-Cola cooler.
The Colo Development Group also gave Wilfong many historic pictures of the restaurant when it first opened around 1918. Many of those pictures adorn the walls.
Vintage cars are also a big part of the Niland Café theme. The front of a 1939 Cadillac sits in the dining area, but people may have even more fun looking at the "cars" on the menu. For instance, the Classic Chevy is a chicken fried steak dinner; the Model T Ford is a boneless chicken breast dinner; and the Studebaker is a grilled ham steak dinner.
You can also order a Route 30 Pileup, a roast beef dinner.
And talk about the past meeting the present: How long has it been since you've ordered the American classic - fried bologna? Wilfong will be offering it at the Niland's café on white or wheat bread.
The themed menu and themed décor is fun to put together and is something to be known for, but Wilfong wants Niland's Café to be known for other things, too. "I want this to be a place where families can come and have a good time at a good price, where food is not expensive, but is good. Keeping people happy is important to me."
To help families be able to afford to take their kids out to eat, Tuesdays will be family night at the café. Wilfong said on Tuesdays, meals for kids 12 and under will be free.
Other past favorites at the restaurant, like Friday's traditional fish fry - all-you-can-eat fish with salad bar, fries and cole slaw, will continue; and all-you-can-eat fried chicken will be offered on Sundays.
The café will also be open for breakfast, which will tie in nicely with the Colo Development Group's plans to eventually turn the gas station into a gift shop and to refurbish the motel into a bed and breakfast, with the breakfast coming from the café.
Hours for Niland's Café will be Tuesday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sundays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The café will be closed Mondays.
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity to get to run this place. It's always been a dream of mine to have this style of restaurant," Wilfong said. "I signed a three-year lease, but I plan on staying here a long time."