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It’s clear when you talk to Jason Sherman, owner of Café Mangia of Colchester, Connecticut, that he has a passion for the restaurant and food service industry. Growing up in Rhode Island, he helped out at his uncle’s restaurant as a dishwasher. From there he worked his way up, learning each of the positions that make up the operations of a restaurant. Host, waiter, cook, manager – he’s done it all, and where many would say they’ve worked their way past needing to doing operational tasks, Jason says the fact he still does them is one of the drivers of the business’ success.
“You can’t expect your staff to do something that you’re not willing to do. My team knows that I’m here for them, and I’m going to step in and help in any way they need me. That’s a huge key to our success – we’re a team, a family, and we work together to make Café Mangia successful.”
Jason’s commitment to his staff doesn’t end there. His biggest piece of advice for other small business owners, especially those in the restaurant industry is simple. “Learn all your employee’s jobs, and cross-train all your staff. This way, you know what your team is doing, and your employees realize how important each task is to run the restaurant. Cross-training staff is an operational no-brainer, but it also provides excellent motivation. If an employee dreams about owning a restaurant, we’ve set them up for success to do that.”
Even with the best staff, the food service industry can be a challenging one to conquer. When Jason decided it was time to open his restaurant, he fell in love with the location of Café Mangia. The building already had a past as a restaurant and seemed like an easy move-in and get started opportunity. It turned out that getting up and started was one of the biggest challenges during the restaurant purchase. After working with the town, Café Mangia successfully opened its doors in September of 2007.
Café Mangia is a rare find in the restaurant world where shortcuts like pre-packaged dressings and other foods are the norm. Jason prides himself in the fact that everything in the restaurant is fresh and made in-house. From tantalizing starters and main courses to exquisite desserts, everything is thought out based on seasonality.
After creating a unique café environment with amazing staff, Jason faced yet another challenge when his founding partner decided that it was time to move on.
“I went to the bank I’d been using since the business had started, but was turned away without a thought. When I reached out to Bill Anderson at Savings Institute Bank & Trust, the response couldn’t have been more different. Bill wanted to help and was determined to figure how what type of lending could help me accomplish my goal of sole ownership.”
Working with Jason, Bill was able to get Café Mangia the funding it needed through Savings Institute Bank & Trust and an SBA Commercial Term loan. The Bank is proud to have been able to help Jason accomplish his dream of sole ownership of Café Mangia. Are you looking for ways to fund expansion or ownership of your small business? Savings Institute Bank & Trust is here to help. To learn more, please contact Bill Anderson at 860-465-7556 or by email.
Bill Anderson provides term loans, lines of credit, commercial mortgages and leasing options to businesses throughout CT. With more than 25 years of banking experience, Bill brings significant experience to his customers. He was named “New Leader in Banking” for 2012 by the Connecticut Banker’s Association. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from UCONN and an MBA in Bank Management from Fairfield University.