posted on by Jackie Bebenroth

2013 Year in Review

Hi, how was your year? Ours was great! Here are some highlights:

Dozens of farm fresh specials found on our Flickr set.

Dozens of farm fresh specials found on our Flickr set.

CHEERS TO…
1. Accolades a plenty!
We almost fell off our bar stools upon hearing our name for Cleveland’s Best New Restaurant. We’ve also enjoyed a steady stream of positive feedback this year  – in house and online. As of this post, we’re happy to report 4 stars on Yelp, 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor, and a 96% rating on Urban Spoon. We take every compliment and complaint to heart. Thank you.

A pork chop worthy of a cover.

2. Higher Education.
Chef Ben may have graduated top 10 in his accelerated culinary class at Johnson & Wales Charleston, but that’s nothing compared to the rigor and focus required of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. Next time you see him, ask him what his prime cost percentage is. Go ahead, we dare you.

Let's talk business. Fluently.

Let’s talk business. Fluently.

3. Interactive Classes.
We added a little twist to typical dining events with cocktail and culinary classes for your DIY enjoyment. Thanks to all who supported this experiment in its first year! Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know about upcoming classes.

Drink while you learn...and take away tips, tricks & recipes for killer at-home entertaining.

Drink while you learn…and take away tips, tricks & recipes for killer at-home entertaining.

4. Growing Up.
…in volume, that is. Spice Acres grew 15% more in 2013 than the previous year. Let’s hear it for four-season growing! We’ve got some serious land expansion plans in the works – stay tuned for details.

Keepin' it growin' while it's snowin'.

Keepin’ it growin’ while it’s snowin’.

5. Strong Partnerships.
Banks don’t like restaurants. That’s why we’re so thankful for the ongoing support and guidance from our generous private investors, who’ve stepped up to the plate to back our crazy ideas, even with questionable short-term gains.

Restaurant alternative to lame stock handshake photo.

Restaurant alternative to lame stock handshake photo.

NEW + IMPROVED…
1. New Leadership
Please welcome our new General Manager, Tina Zekhtser! You may have seen her buzzing about this month. Be sure to introduce yourself next time you’re in.

Before you take your compliments or complaints to Yelp, be sure to talk to Tina.

Tell Tina what’s on your mind.

2. Building Ownership
A 6-month struggle to purchase our building has FINALLY come to a close! Look for  building renovations to start once winter breaks.

This year: Out with the old, in with the new.

This beauty is officially ours. Yes.

3. Park Stewardship
After taking a short hiatus from catering the annual Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park fundraiser, Topography, Spice of Life Catering Co. was just awarded the 2014 contract.  This year, we’re switching it up from the usual cliff-side snacks to a fully interactive dining experience.

Fine dining in a field, anyone?

Fine dining in a field, anyone?

4. Fresh Partnerships.
We’re always meeting new farmers and we can’t wait to introduce you to their fine work.

Getting to know the Gammies in their own Quarry Hill Orchard.

Getting to know the Gammies in their own Quarry Hill Orchard.

5.  Culinary craftsmanship.
More menu changes will start to appear as the harvest availability changes. We’ll place special emphasis on spicing things up for our vegetarian and vegan guests in the future.

Our newest vegan addition: Roasted mushrooms & fennel, escarole, white beans + root vegetable ragout!

Our newest vegan addition: Roasted mushrooms & fennel, escarole, white beans + root vegetable ragout!

MORE OF THE SAME…
To keep things interesting for all you regulars out there, we’ll continue to liven up our happy hour menus, Plated Landscape events, burrito stand offerings, and seasonal events!

The Cleveland dining scene is getting more exciting by the minute and we’re so proud to be a part of it. On behalf of our staff, farmers, reps and vendors, cheers to another great year!

 

 


Posted in: Spice Acres, Spice Kitchen+Bar, Spice of Life Catering Co..
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2 Responses to 2013 Year in Review

  1. Congrats on 2013! Love you all and thank you for supporting us!

  2. Congrats on an excellent 2013, your team is always so friendly and works to make each of my experiences, let it be a beer at the bar, apps on the patio or a Sunday cocktail cooking class both fun and memorable.