What’s your guilty pleasure?
Wine. I love to learn about wine and drink it — although I have had to put that guilty pleasure on hold for now. Right now my guilty pleasure is our (Jay’s) chocolate mousse.
What’s one word you think people would use to describe you?
Why did you decide to come back to and settle in Dayton?
I always knew I would take over the restaurant. I wasn’t planning on staying when I first came back, but my dad had a severe heart attack 6 months after I got home. So I never left. Everything happens for a reason.
How did you get involved with owning and running a restaurant?
With my father being in the business and me getting my first job at the age of 14 at St. Leonard’s in the food service department, I have never done anything else. I had a chance to open two seafood restaurants with (Columbus-based) Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, then to work alongside my father for seven years.
What was the most challenging part of that?
After my father died, I always thought I knew how to run the business, but there was so much I did not know. I am still learning every day.
How did you push through the challenge?
I didn’t have a choice in my mind. I was dedicated to succeeding. I have made some mistakes along the way but it has just made me learn what to do or not to do in the future. After losing both my parents, I learned how to be more patient. I try to not let the uncontrollable bother me anymore.
What inspires you about Dayton?
Its character and history. Also the people — I truly feel most people around here are down to earth.
If you could change or bring one thing to Dayton, what would it be?
I would bring back the trapshoot convention. What a huge loss to our community. It brought a lot of revenue and tax dollars to the community.
What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?
I hope Downtown Dayton will be thriving with housing, retail and businesses. I feel like we are on the right path.