At 20-year mark, Flavors Eatery owner credits ‘core values’ for restaurant’s rebound

The owner of Flavors Eatery says the restaurant made it to the 20-year mark by empowering employees to act as owners and by ensuring food is prepared in-house daily.

The restaurant at 865 E. Franklin St. in Centerville focuses on providing health-conscious cuisine that accommodates low-carb, vegan, gluten-free and other diet preferences. It offers burritos and wraps, pizzas, salads, smoothies and other items.

The business is coming off its best three years ever, an upswing that saved it from closing, according to Ric Campbell, a retired commercial banker and its third owner.

Campbell said he and his wife, Connie, purchased the business in 2021 from friends Steve and Debbie Schell in 2014. “We made some changes and people started being very, very pleased,” Campbell said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Those changes included instituting core values for employees, like instructing them to consider themselves owners who have “the ability to solve any issue” and to make sure that each customers gets a “wow” experience.

“This is what I say to my team all the time is ‘How do we measure that?’” he said. “Customers have to sit in their car after the meal and say ‘Wow, we’ve got to come back here.’”

Making that experience the best possible one also included striving to make “the most fresh, delicious meals possible” by prepping ingredients daily for use that specific day and not for the days to come, as well, Campbell said.

In addition, employees work to learn customers’ preferences and provide personalized recommendations, he said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Longtime favorites remain on the menu, but new items also have been added to expand the restaurant’s appeal, Campbell said.

“Our customer base is 70% women, so we added a couple of items to the menu a couple of years ago specifically for men,” he said. “Here’s what I tell wives: ‘Bring your husband in. We have shredded chicken, barbecued pulled pork, tri-tip steak and bacon. I can guarantee you we’ll make something he loves.’”

Part of what the restaurant has achieved is to get people to see beyond the healthy aspects of what it serves, Campbell said.

“It’s not a place to eat healthy, it’s a place to eat better and it’s delicious,” he said.

The restaurant plans to celebrate its 20 years in business through the end of the year by offering monthly promotions, Campbell said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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