When Paul Dzubnar thinks about his business strategy as a restaurant owner, it comes down to diversification.
“I think about it like investing in the stock market,” says Dzubnar. “You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.”
With his sixth and seventh restaurant concepts in the works, Dzubnar stays true to that philosophy.
By Nancy Weingartner
It’s not often one solitary restaurant can help rid the world of an aggressive invader—and at the same time feed a rowdy crowd all the crayfish they can eat (or 2,200 pounds, whichever comes first) along with bottomless Hurricanes and beer.
Rusty crayfish (orconectes rusticus) have created havoc in Minnesota lakes by eating coveted walleye eggs, bullying the indigenous Minnesota-nicer crayfish and tearing out oxygen-producing vegetation that’s an important part of the lakes’ ecosystem.
Although the invasive species can be found in at least 50 Minnesota lakes, Northern Minnesota’s Woman Lake is the site of the collaboration between trappers, whose full-time job is catching walleye, and The Fish Guys, who supplied the 2,200 pounds of crayfish to Smack Shack for its second annual Crayfest.
Launching its fourth year of honoring the best of the Twin Cities’ restaurant, food and beverage industries, the Charlie Awards hosted a kick-off party August 20 that packed the beer garden of last year’s Outstanding Restaurant winner, Butcher and the Boar.
In addition to enjoying appetizers and drinks, attendees heard from several chefs, restaurant owners and food writers who were brought together to discuss and debate issues affecting the industry.
With WCCO-TV since 2003, Jason DeRusha co-anchors “WCCO This Morning” and “WCCO News at Noon” with Jamie Yuccas. A foodie and frequenter of Minnesota restaurants, DeRusha is also the station’s food reporter and produces the “DeRusha Eats” segment airing Saturday mornings. And over at MSP Mag DeRusha writes a monthly column and blogs about the best places to dine out—with kids in tow.
Heidi Andermack doesn’t want to think of local food sourcing and environmental sustainability as trends, even though they’re at the top of the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” trend list for 2014 and have been for years. Instead, for Andermack and fellow Chowgirls Killer Catering owner Amy Brown, these methods are a way of life—and of doing business.
Trends can go away, Andermack explained, which is exactly what she doesn’t want to see happen with these approaches to foodservice. Luckily for Andermack and her business, the opposite is happening. Consumers are increasingly interested in where their food is coming from, seeking out locally sourced meals from restaurants that are more than willing to capitalize on that interest.
Those same consumers are also looking to caterers to have the same focus, which for Andermack and Brown is perfect because they’ve built their business around the words—and deeds—“local,” “organic” and “sustainable.”
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