I recently had the pleasure of sitting down to talk with the owner of a favorite restaurant here in the Phoenix area, Kirsten of Chestnut @ The Vintage.
We talked about the restaurant industry during Covid, creating community and safe gatherings during this uncertain time.
Kirsten didn’t set out to be in the restaurant industry. As a matter of fact, she wasn’t even planning on opening up a restaurant until her sister approached her with idea. They bought the concept and recipes for Chestnut from the original owner, Paulie.
They worked with restaurant consultants about next steps and best practices. Together they planned on opening something small. Kirsten thought this would be a great side hustle, with plans to keep her position in the medical industry.
But you’ve heard the saying about best laid plans…
Well, Kirsten ended up opening a much larger location than originally planned, by herself and the consultants practically disappeared. And, while there were challenges, Kirsten learned the business and it grew. Chestnut was not the side hustle she thought it would be, but her main focus.
This past February of 2020, she moved into a new location. Then Covid hit and we are all way too aware of what happened then. Many restaurants just couldn’t function and many closed their doors forever. Kirsten found a way through and realized that serving her customers, community and her team was what really filled her cup.
Add this one to the list of stories of blessings found during a pandemic.
Kirsten and Chestnut have been serving up delicious food for over 7 years now. She still uses about 20% of Paulies original Chestnut recipes, but has developed new ones that the community came to rely on during lockdown. I know our favorite lunch was her chicken salad. And, we really couldn’t have made it through the last few months without those chocolate chip cookies!
Do you have a favorite restaurant? Have you ever asked if they could cater a gathering either at their location or at your home?
Kirsten is happy to help. If you are in the Phoenix area, give her call or email. She has a catering menu but will work with you on ideas to fit your budget.
Gathering in the backyard can be safe and good for the soul. But sometimes we don’t have the time to cook, that’s were knowing you have a great catering option comes in handy. The Chef that works with Kirsten is very talented and can do anything.
Don’t let this holiday season go by without sharing a fantastic meal with friends and family. You can do it safely and joyfully ~ right in your own backyard, with a little help from Kirsten and her team at Chestnut @ The Vintage.
And if you aren’t planning on a little get together, at least stop in for a pastry and cup of coffee ~ believe me, you’ll be glad you did!