Mario del Pero of Mendocino Farms currently operates five casual lunch-oriented, farm-to-table cafes, but he's only getting started. A recent equity deal will enable him to continue Los Angeles expansion and beyond. Next up is a downtown location that will serve daily within the new FIGat7th shopping center, and del Pero is in talks to launch in Sherman Oaks and potentially Manhattan Beach as well. After that, a departure from LA. He explains, "Mendos should be special, we don't want to dilute the brand. We are not trying to be some big chain."
As for that Catterton deal, it's "less about the money and more about the mentorship. As we have grown to five stores, I have the desire to make the concept better. Catterton has aligned me with some of the best restaurant owners in the country to help our core Mendo team continue to get better. Hardest challenge for us to grow slow and healthy is to find great store managers. Great restaurant managers that inspire and coach team members in a positive way are hard to find."
·Bringing Home The Bacon [~ELA~]