We had the good fortune of connecting with sam trude and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi sam, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
People often say to me when I tell them I’m in the hospitality business; “you must be so busy, are you always at the restaurant? How to deal with working nights all the time?” My response is, initially yes, I was there a lot and that is important in order to understand all the moving pieces and pressure points from each position and area of the business, but ultimately my job as owner and as a leader is to provide the tools, systems and process for my teams to do their job of running the business effectively day to day ,so I don’t have to. There are always key strategic decisions and relationships that I need to keep close contact with and it is important to be there often in order to lead, influence the culture and provide support but if I do my job correctly, I should never feel ‘chained’ to my business. For me its about putting the right people in the right seats in my management team and giving them the tools to succeed and set the direction and agenda of the business strategy, where we went to go. I find this the most rewarding and enjoyable part of this business, the people and the process
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are an all day 3-meal Cafe/Restaurant that serves breakfast lunch and dinner in a casual coastal Californian manner. Whats sets us apart is our all day casual menu and aesthetic with outdoor patio and just steps from Venice beach and the famous Venice sign. You can get a coffee, smoothie and breakfast burrito in the am followed by a healthy salad or indulgent fried chicken sandwich for lunch and then wood fired pizza and dinner with naturalizations wine and a cocktail at night 8am-11pm, 7 days a week. Our influence came from Australia where the two founders are from. Australia is full of amazing all day Cafes, drawing largely on its European history and heritage but executed in a casual outdoor, typically beachside setting. Both founders, Sam & Sam were curious why this cultural staple wasn’t present in the US, particularly in California where the weather, lifestyle and landscape were so similar to that of Sydney and the coastal Australian cities. Our success was obvious from day one of opening often with long lines to order from our counter and a bustling vibe all day long. One year into our business in Venice we decided we needed more space so took over the adjoining space (formally a Subway) and amalgamated the two spaces to provide for seating, kitchen and the ability to extend the offering into dinner service making us a true 3 meal destination. The challenges around permitting and approvals were definitely the biggest obstacle and ended up taking well over 12 months to complete, the result was ultimately one of success. We are now looking to expand the brand into there parts of LA and beyond.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Venice Beach – the eclectic mix of people, food, beach and amazing history. Its storied maze of canals and architecture is so unique Malibu for a surf – the most classic surf break and beach culture California is know for The mountains – total contrast from the beach culture but so close and so beautiful
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Past mentors and business guides. Book – Setting the Table by Danny Meyer
Brecht Van Hoff