The Porch at Christie’s (fast casual, non-profit)
From the day Christie’s opened its doors in 1926, one thing remained the same, Christie’s was the go-to spot in the Westport community. With the inviting Porch on the front of the store, it became a place for the community to meet, buy local foods and treat themselves to a delicious ice cream from the adorable ice cream hut.
In early 2020, Bill & Andrea founded the non-profit Sweet P Bakery in Norwalk. Sweet P is dedicated to providing job training and employment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In early November, they had their very first graduating class from their Baking 1 – Foundations class. What has been missing is the employment part of the mission. This has all changed now with the soon to be opening of The Porch.
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The Grey Owl Bar & Grill (Full-service, Events, Catering)
The Grey Owl Bar & Grill opened in November 2020 after a full remodel. Chef owner Lexi Zable sought to create a year-round dining option for the coastal Maine town. In a land of seafood, The Grey Owl has a well-rounded menu offering scrumptious steaks, signature burgers, wings, daily specials and an impressive cocktail menu. This upscale casual concept is COVID-19 compliant by design and includes two separate dining areas, a full bar and indoor/outdoor event space.
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SuperSandwich.com (Fast Casual)
This award-winning sandwich shop has served more than a million sandwiches, soups, and salads in the 10 years since founder Steve Dolio opened its doors. The fan favorite Chicken Cutlet Italiano won USA Today’s BEST Sandwich in Connecticut award.
Preparing great food is a passion for Steve who learned from his grandmother and great grandmother to buy bread from the best bakery, meats from the top butchers, handcrafted cheese, and fresh vegetables direct from farms. Most importantly he learned that there are no shortcuts. Great quality takes more effort and costs more.
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We worked with Mark when opening Cafe Xpresso & he was a HUGE help! Mark helped us in testing our recipes to get flavor profiles correct & he helped with organizing our staff & operational procedures. He has a form for anything you might want to accomplish & he really knows about restaurants.
In dealing with a first restaurant, I was fortunate to have found Mark through the New Jersey Restaurant Association. His insight; patients and knowledge of the industry proved to be invaluable to the successful opening of our restaurant. Mark’s professionalism and personal attributes are a reminder of the what a true professional is all about in this industry. I would recommend him without hesitation.
I own a newly formed Gourmet Cookie company. I know business but I don’t know the food business. Making the decision to work with Mark was one the best moves I have made in business to date. Mark is knowledgeable in ALL areas of my business. Mark is not just a consultant to my business but I consider him a strategic partner. Having the ability to consult with him about the long term strategy, and the short term (down and dirty nitty gritty) is a rare combination. I highly recommend Mark and could not imagine moving forward without him as in integrated part of my business.
Mark is a very special high level manager that brings a wealth of restaurant/food operations, leadership and administrative support experience to the table. He performs extremely well under high pressure and high volume situations, keeps his people motivated and delivers results. Mark has a high level of integrity and communicates exceptionally well. He is able to relate to people at all levels and is always seeking a better way to improve quality, sales and service. His organization skills and follow through are outstanding. He understands P&L management and knows how to impact the bottom line. I have known Mark for over 10 years and he is a pleasure to work with.