ABE's humble beginnings:
It seems like a short time ago but it's been since 1994 that the desire to open my very own restaurant came into my busy little mind. It was not something that I had planned nor really desired to do over my lifetime. My midlife "clarity” happened one day in my Corporate office, thinking about escaping the 9 to 5, doing something totally different in my 44th year of existence. Of course I had a good pension going on, weekends off, 3 paid weeks of vacation and big holidays at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But there was something missing and it was simply being in charge of my own destiny as I grew older.
The thought started materializing after eating out over several weekends looking for a decent brunch and finding nothing to satisfy my discerning palate. I really longed for the quaint little places found along the Pacific Coast while living in California. After moving back to the Southeast all that could be found was the bland Formica clad, average menu "chains” that just left me full but totally unsatisfied! No ambiance, no creativity in the foods, and just enough service to make a tip barely justifiable.
Always known as a person of detail, I decided to put that to work, and create my own business. Making it a successful one would require many long hours of work, paying attention to the minutia and providing the guests a memorable experience that they wouldn't forget.
The Beginning "Egg”
The first step was finding the ideal spot to start my new venture. The desire was to have a location that people would feel right at home with, one that said comfort, vacation and family in the same sentence. That site was found on Girod Street in Old Mandeville, Louisiana in the Spring of 1994. When I first set eyes on her, I immediately knew this was meant for a café…my first venture into the world of entrepreneurship and business!
Many years ago in 1908, the only doctor in this small quaint town on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, built a summer home from old barge wood brought over from the New Orleans wharves. Its simplistic but strong Creole cottage design kept the building solid, but dormant for many years. Inspired by its architectural features, I felt this the perfect location for my first plunge into the restaurant business. The restoration started in the summer of 94' & took two years to awaken this sleeping beauty! The cypress French doors, heart pine floors and walls of various weathered colors, came to life with a little imagination and a lot of hard work! By the summer of 1996, flowing waterfalls and fountains, lush landscaping with used brick sidewalks and an interior kicked up a notch with bold colors and antique furnishings greeted our first customers. The "Broken Egg Café” was hatched Thanksgiving week in 96'!
The formula was a proven success from the start, with virtually no advertising (other than word of mouth), The first "Egg” team opened our doors with remarkable success. Within two months, we were breaking over 1400 eggs a week!….Great food, friendly outgoing service, a charming French country décor in an old home setting and a menu that breakfast, brunch & lunch lovers could not possibly resist, is truly our success story!
Moving into the Future
After a year of existence, the birth of our catchy new name came innocently out of a conversation with a repeat customer. She asked the question, "Will you please open up "another Broken Egg” in New Orleans?” It simply rolled off her tongue so easily, I just had to use it…a new name for all the following café's to come!
As the "Egg's” reputation and sales grew steadily, guest started inquiring about expanding to other areas, which inspired me to open the second location in Destin, Florida with my brother. Subsequently, with that opening, and the continual fine tuning of the concept, the phones and e-mails started pouring in with folks inquiring about owning their own ABE.
The success of the Another Broken Egg can be directly linked to our philosophy that "Nothing Short of Right is Right”. Each site is managed by hands-on, on site Owners who believe that every detail is important to make the customer happy. Our belief is from the time a customer enters the front door, to the time they leave the Café, they should feel like being "on holiday” and as comfortable as being in their own home. The attention to detail from a clean entrance, to ample and quality food, to high cleanliness standards from the Front of the House to the kitchen are just as important as great, friendly "down home” service. With that in mind, it is our never ending goal to earn guests for life.
Our First Five Star Resort - In 1998, Sandestin Resort was purchased by Intrawest, one of North America's leading developers & operators of four season village resorts. The Intrawest development team proceeded to seek out "The Best of the Best” restaurants, galleries & retail shops to make the 400 million dollar Village of Baytowne Wharf development a unique and memorable vacation. During their visits to hundreds of restaurant concepts throughout the Nation, they came across (right in their own backyard) our Another Broken Egg in Destin, Florida.
After three unannounced meals, they approached us with the opportunity to join their elite team of unique and prospering businesses. The results being a beautiful terraced waterfront Café with rich, hunger inspired colors of warm reds and yellows infused with splashes of French blue accents. Along with terrific views of the village and bridged waterways, a one of a kind 16' long French country kitchen mural adorns one wall of the restaurant, inspiring a memorable breakfast, brunch & lunch dining experience.
With this most recent success, we are positioning ourselves to expand and grow our uniqueness to major locations/cities and resorts throughout America and potentially internationally (We have had discussions of interest in Canada, Puerto Rica, France, & New Zealand).
Thanks to all of our dedicated guests and you visiting us.