Stone & Embers, Philo
“First time restaurateurs successfully launch eatery”
Stone and Embers is a new restaurant nestled in the Philo, CA boutique resort called The Madrones. Chef and Owner, Patrick Meany, specializes in local, seasonal, and wood-fired cooking that reflects the rustic-yet-refined setting in the heart of the Anderson Valley. It is open Friday-Tuesday for both lunch and dinner, and has already garnered a great deal of praise for its delicious food and beautiful setting.
When Patrick Meany and his partner, Lauren Stupar, first came to the Mendocino SBDC for help, they knew they wanted to open a restaurant, but lacked specific knowledge about how to obtain financing. They had some interesting ideas for a few different types of restaurants or cafés that might be successful in one of the small towns on the Mendocino Coast, but were unsure how to develop and refine their ideas and turn them into a business plan that could persuade a bank or individuals to invest in their project. After meeting with their SBDC Business advisor, Nancy Banker, they knew they needed to do more research before deciding on exactly what kind of restaurant venture to undertake. Once they identified an interesting opportunity, they found themselves needing to negotiate with their landlord to make sure their startup would be viable long term.
Nancy helped Patrick and Lauren investigate local options for their restaurant concept, and she also helped them fine tune their business plan once they settled on an idea. After they decided to open their restaurant in Philo, on the property of The Madrones, she helped them negotiate with the property owner and clarify the terms of the lease so that they wouldn’t face problems later on when the business was open.
Using the business plan they developed with their advisor, Patrick and Lauren were able to secure a private investment that allowed them to go forward with their plan for Stone and Embers. They successfully negotiated the essential details of the lease with the property owner in the spring of 2013, and were able to cater a wine tasting event at The Madrones for the Mendocino Film Festival in June 2013. The festival event whetted the appetite of the locals for the much-anticipated fare soon to be available at Stone and Embers, and when the restaurant did open in August, the critical acclaim was almost instantaneous. Patrick’s concentration on local ingredients has been particularly appreciated, and is at the core of his plans to expand the menu with lamb roasted whole, house made pickles, and other offerings inspired by what Mendocino County has to offer. Patrick and Lauren also plan to host more winemaker dinners and other special events that seem natural given the Anderson Valley location of Stone and Embers. Stone and Embers is currently open Friday-Tuesday for both lunch and dinner.
“We were so grateful to have the SBDC’s expert advice as we negotiated the difficult terrain of a restaurant startup. After such a great start, we are fired up to expand our business and our success!”