May 29th 2007 - after over a year of construction, we managed to squeak open our third Kent County restaurant. This time around we were determined to do it right - hire managers, be hands-on but not unlock and lock every day, be the kind of restaurant owners who could actually attend a Saturday night wedding or take a week vacation without shutting down the shop. Well, we got some of it right! And it appears that we wouldn't have it any other way. We are, after all, members of that rare tribe of small business owners, the "owner-operator", many of whom reside right here in Kent County and do the same thing we do, day in and day out, in stores and offices up and down the streets and highways of our community. Locally owned businesses run by locals. Since our days on Cannon Street, beginning in 1986, Kevin and I have been serving his food to some of the same guests we continue to cook for today!
We are particularly proud of our staff members - past and present - who, over the last 2.7 decades have enabled us to provide our clientele with the hospitality experience they have come to expect. We couldn't have done much without their help. We have had more than our share of talented, hard-working employees, several of whom remain in touch with us years after leaving our employ. I am reminded of the crew of Fraternity Brothers from WAC, who held down the dishwashing spot at the Kennedyville Inn for several semesters, and when one brother couldn't make it, another one came in to take his spot. Tending the bar up there was another WAC student, famous for his collegiate swimming, who made us a CD of mixed tunes that we play to this day. I have some probably black-mail worthy pictures of the Amy-Leigh-Grace-Molly crew, who led the charge in the dining room for at least a summer or so. There are too many stories to tell. Several of our early employees from the Ironstone Cafe days are now customers at Brooks, and they come in with their own children! Every now and then, some young adult will be here eating their meal and surprise me by saying "Hey, don't you remember me? I was a busser/dishwasher/cook." A few have continued on in the restaurant trade, but not so many...
Regardless, we have been very lucky during our time here in Kent County, working hard but taking great satisfaction in a job well done. There's always more to do, something to improve, a new challenge ahead to keep us on our toes. As we continue down the path of the local hospitality industry, we are grateful for the support we have received from our customers and our families, our employees and our friends, and we hope to continue to earn that support for many years to come.