Scovies Gourmet offers up home cooking and a small-town atmosphere.
At Scovies Gourmet, your meal is made to order with fresh ingredients. Serving lunch and dinner, they also cater events large and small and offer a full bar for your enjoyment. Stop in and enjoy views of Charlevoix drawbridge and Round Lake located in downtown Charlevoix.
Scovies Gourmet owner and chef, Vi Keller, answered some questions about her restaurant located just south of the bridge at 111 Bridge Street in downtown Charlevoix.
What sets you apart from other restaurants in town?
Scovies has a 20-year track record of being in business that is open year-round, using fresh quality products, plus offering fresh baked goods with regionally famous Northern Michigan carrot cake!
What product in your business is different from competitors?
We have some unique sandwich combinations and a large variety of baked good choices daily.
What service does your business provide that is different than most others?
We have a well-rounded menu and our restaurant does not have deep-fried menu item offerings. We do have some Vegetarian and GF options too. No deep fryers make it more challenging for us in the kitchen but healthier for patrons. Our soups are second to none. We have baked goods for just about everyone. We also do party catering, events for up to 150 people, and wedding and special occasion cakes.
What is your experience and background?
I have been in the restaurant industry for almost 35 years. I have worked in the front of the house and the back of the house in pretty much every position, banquets, catering, bakery, not to mention management and multi-unit management. For most of my summers after high school and then into college and after, I usually had 2 jobs, one in customer service and one in production, whether in the hospitality industry, retail, or construction. I have also lived in different parts of the country and knowing the industry made it easier to find work and expand my knowledge and palette.
What is something about your business that customers do not expect?
The fact that we, myself and my team, are able to produce and feed just about any type of ethnic palette. We are not limited to just "deli" food and those that have joined us at dinner or had an event/party catered are always more than pleased with our food.
Do you have employees? If so, share ways that you help make them feel valued.
Yes I do have employees and I do what I can to show them, along with telling them, they are appreciated. I have increased wages for those that have endured the past few years and increases on merit are normal as well. We try to do off-site functions/dinners 2-4 times a year and I give employees little extra incentives when I can, sometimes little gifts, items they are wishing/saving for, or help them financially if there is an unexpected expense that is needed for their families.
What is one of your favorite customer testimonials your business has received?
Actually, we have several that are always the same theme: "Outstanding food, service, and ease." Many have said that after our first meeting or initial correspondence that they felt at ease and didn't feel that they had to worry about the function/cake/party again. Also, we are professional, timely with deliveries, party start times, timelines for weddings, and going above and beyond when we are able to. We have also been told that we are the client's "go-to" people when they have needs knowing if we can't we can point them in the right direction.
Does your company have a personality and an attitude, and if so, how would you describe it?SARCASM! It gets us through the day and helps "break the tension" with some, hence one of the employee t-shirt sayings is "SARCASM, Just another service we offer!" I decided a long time ago, life is too short to take yourself so seriously....because we all die sometime!
Does your business participate in any partnerships with other local businesses?
We are involved in the Locally based 4theLocal promotion that is good for the consumer and the businesses that are involved.
Why did you choose to own a business in downtown Charlevoix?
We were looking to start something in the area upon moving back from AZ 20 years ago, Charlevoix was the community we saw a need for what we wanted to offer. We have changed with the times and added and taken away offerings, but the base is still the same: Quick service of good food at an affordable price that keeps them coming back more regularly than a special occasion spot that they have to save up for. We wanted people to be able to come in more often and make it a place to meet for lunch or celebrate a milestone over dinner.
How has Charlevoix Main Street DDA been valuable to your business?
More ways that I can mention without writing a book!! Promotions, information, event planning to drive in business in the slower times, community support, and UNBELIEVABLE knowledge and help through COVID with all the different ways to keep businesses open and applying for grants/aid to do so!
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