Zach Peterlin and Kim Decapite are in the dating phase of their relationship, but they've already figured out how to marry their experience into a restaurant and bar in Farmington.
Peterlin's Restaurant & Bar
opened about six months ago at the corner of Farmington Road and 9 Mile "and it's been even better than we thought. You never know. Starting a business is a big gamble," Peterlin says.
He says the reasons the customers are coming have to do with value for fresh-made food, customer service that is as much a business cornerstone as the menu, and with backgrounds that he and Decapite bring to the table.
Peterlin, an honors graduate in hospitality management from Northern Michigan University
and an experienced chef in corporate and independent restaurants, brings a passion for original and creative foods.
Decapite, with her experience in fine food shops such as Alban's Bottle & Basket in Birmingham and for the last eight years at Joe's Produce and Gourmet Market in Livonia, has perfected a face-to-face, customer-comes-first attitude.
"It's hard to compete with the Subways and Little Caesars and their $5 meals. But it's all processed," Peterlin says. "I think we've found the right price point and we have the quality."
Peterlin also brought with him customers he had cultivated while working as a chef for other restaurants. They chose to open in Farmington because they live there and because they knew there was market potential, he says.
Peterlin and Dicapite met during a food and wine pairing course, and decided about a year ago to go into business for themselves.
"I had gone to work for J Alexander's right out of school and learned a lot. But I wanted to try to the independent thing. So I went to work for smaller, independents. I found out I like doing the independent thing, being creative and doing something that's special, Peterlin explains. "We think we've hit the right combination: a good price point, fresh food, great customer service. In these times you have to give people value and you have to give them what's going make them come back."
Writer: Kim North Shine
Source: Zach Peterlin, co-owner, Peterlin's Restaurant & Bar