We had the good fortune of connecting with Tom and Jill Concannon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tom and Jill, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The number one lesson we learned and have come to embrace is that the road to success is not a straight line many pivots are likely and often necessary. Sometimes it turns out be surprisingly good in a different way. Call it luck, call it destiny, sometimes these pivots will put you in the best position to be successful.
We started our journey to open our restaurant 4 years ago. We were just days away from signing a lease on a brick and mortar sit-down deli when March 13th arrived and COVID-19 closed down our country. Our loan that we worked so hard to obtain went away. There was disappointment and a feeling of defeat as we hunkered down with our family to help our two children during that difficult time. When the idea came to us about opening a virtual kitchen in Denver, Colorado we decided to change our entire business plan and take a chance on a new concept in the restaurant industry. We are excited to be a part of a growing new way to think about restaurant success. So now we cook out of a 250 square foot kitchen where we take online orders only for takeout and delivery so people can eat from the comfort of their office or home.
We look forward to a time in the future when we can open a brick and mortar restaurant and build on our dream.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We have been together for 25 years and are raising two wonderful children, Nora who is 15 and Jack who is 11. All the decisions we make, we make as a family. Nora and Jack have been involved in our business from the early planning stages all the way to helping us on opening day. For us this is about having a family business where we can teach our children-whether they take over the business or not-that they can learn something from this experience. We want this to be an education for them-it’s learning about money, people, customer service, organization and just how to deal with life’s constant challenges. We want to show them that if they want something they can go for it even if it’s not a very practical dream. So we are most excited about being able to show our children that you can be successful in achieving whatever your dream is.
Our restaurant is about family. We want to take care of our customers like they are an extension of our family-bring back the old fashioned “mom and pop shop”. We feel that the best way to achieve that is to bring our customers the highest quality ingredients at a good price with excellent flavor profiles. The food we are making are meals that we love and meals that we love to make for our family and friends. Our menu includes salads, sandwiches and pastas which all can be custom made to order-exactly how our customer wants it. We want to bring hospitality back into the game-we want this to be the driving force behind what we do. We want to give people exactly what they want-their way. Our moto is that we want to “Fix Your Hangry”.
We have learned to ask for help along the way and build a team of people who are specialists in their field to help us navigate what it takes to run a small business. You cannot do this alone. You cannot do it all-you will need help!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We are a busy family like most but love taking time out for family and friends. For a week of fun we would take our friend to Red Rocks for a concert and some hiking, 16th street mall to check out downtown Denver including the Millennium Bridge, Union Station, and Coors Field for a game. We would grab some sandwiches from our deli and head to beautiful Wash Park for some people watching.
Our kids would have a far different answer-they would say Water World is a must and the Denver Zoo. They also love to ride the light rail downtown to the 16th Street Mall and to the Pavilions and Larimer Square to Rocket Fizz candy shop.
We all love lake sports and love to go paddle boarding and usually head up to Grand Lake or to Union Reservoir in Longmont.
As busy as we are, any family time is a great time even if it means dinner on our deck at home and a movie.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We want to thank our families and our close friends who encouraged us along the way to not give up on this dream. We also appreciate all the support they have given us since we have opened!
We owe a great deal of our ability to get this business off the ground to the hard working, knowledgeable individuals at the North Metro Denver Small Business Development Center(SBDC). We especially want to thank Nancy Barnett who forced us to think long and hard about the viability of our business plan and ask ourselves the difficult questions many couples are afraid to confront.
Twitter: Old School Heros @OldSchoolHeros
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