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 opening of The Porch.
|WHAT WE DID:|
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.
|WHAT WE DID:|
e.terra kitchen (Hospitality)
e.terra, a flexible culinary workspace solutions company, opened its first flexible commercial kitchen in Harlem, New York in April 2021. Founded by industry veterans Bella Karakis and Joel Rogozinski, e.terra provides community-focused, flexible commercial kitchen solutions and business services to support the growth of food & beverage companies in every stage of development. The Harlem space is 5,600 square feet and features 2 large kitchens, state-of-the-art commercial kitchen equipment and technology, with room to scale while keeping startup costs low. It includes a shared commercial kitchen, a baker’s kitchen, ghost or private kitchen stations, dry and cold storage, office co-working space and full roster of business support services.
|WHAT WE DID:|
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.