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Spotlight: Green Valley Hospitality Sourced Local Ingredients Before It Was Cool

Locally sourced ingredients have gained popularity in recent years. But Green Valley Hospitality was ahead of this trend. The restaurant group has carved a unique niche in its community. Read about it in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Runs a restaurant group in Northeastern Connecticut.

The group oversees four distinct restaurants, including:

  • Vanilla Bean Cafe
  • Dog Lane Cafe
  • 85 Main
  • Fenton River Grill

Business Niche

Using locally sourced ingredients when possible.

President Barry Jessurun told Small Business Trends, “Our first restaurant opened in 1989. And we were buying local before it was ‘thing.’”

How the Business Got Started

With a small cafe.

Jessurun says, “The Jessurun family turned a 19th century barn into a limited service casual café with high quality hand prepared foods. We have been known for quality since then, with many awards and positive press.”

Biggest Win

Being a launch site for a major new product.

Jessurun explains, “The Vanilla Bean Café was the National Launch site for Vanilla Coke on May 8th, 2002. We were found in an internet search by the person leading the launch. We saw a significant uptick in business and more international tourism.”

Biggest Risk

Expanding during a recession.

Jessurun adds, “In 2009, in the midst of a global recession we decided to double the size of our bar in our second location and add Sushi to the offerings. We were spending money when most business were pulling back. The result was significant increase in business. If it had gone wrong, we would have incurred additional debt and increased our negative cash flow.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Improving a few key areas.

Jessurun says he would use the money for, “Some new equipment, additional bonuses to key employees, and a few minor remodeling jobs.”

Favorite Quote

“Language does not just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes.” ? Desmond Tutu

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Image: Green Valley Hospitality

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