In this episode, we interview Eric Scheffer. With 21 years of hospitality experience including Asheville gems such as Vinnies and Jettie Rae’s and the former Savoy, Scheffer explains how caring about your people is one of the most important strategies to success.
“We’re given gifts every single day, be present and be in the moment for the people talking to you, don’t try to think ten steps ahead, be very present and the most genuine person you can be”
Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- How the Senegalese term Teranga can make everyone a better person
How employers can try to help with recovery and the pervasive link between Alcohol/Drug use and the restaurant industry
Why valuing and communicating with your employees leads to success in business and life
How deciding if try a new career (even if you’re experiencing success in another) is a good idea
Why Eric was given the nickname “Hollywood”
Enjoyed this interview? We think you might also dig this episode with Emily Peele from High Five Coffee.
About Eric Scheffer
Eric Scheffer is a business owner, brand consultant, and entrepreneur that has been in the hospitality industry for 21 years. After acting as the Executive Producer for one of the world’s largest TV Commercial production companies, Harmony Pictures, Scheffer decided to switch his career path to the hospitality-food-and-wine industry. Eric relocated to Asheville, NC in the late 1990’s with his wife and daughter after they felt “a pull” looking over the Blue Ridge Parkway on a trip. (We can absolutely relate to that feeling, Eric).
With his background in advertising, Scheffer approaches and makes sure his restaurants “wrap brand and culture around the execution of product”, understanding the importance of the people and all the moving parts that lead to long-term success. Some of Scheffer’s restaurants include Vinnie’s (2nd location coming soon) and Jettie Rae’s Oyster House, which opened amidst the pandemic and were met with great success. As an entrepreneur, Eric has his feet in many puddles and is set to launch the Scheffer Group this year – a company that will manage all of his brands, act as a consultancy company for the Hospitality Industry, and an incubator for new brands and to create and promote new talent. Eric’s dedication to public service and philanthropy are central to his public life.
To learn more about Jettie Rae’s Oyster House, Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian, and more, check out the links below:
- Patrick O’Caine– A long time friend and skilled chef and owner of Gan Shan Station
- Will Cisa– The Executive chef at Jettie Rae’s
- Captain Mark Marhefka – Owner of Abundant Seafood in SC
- Brian Canipelli – Owner of Cucina 24 and longtime friend and mentee
- Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR) – a non-profit that supports independent restaurants through education, training, advocacy, collaboration.
Books & Media
- “Setting the Table” – by Danny Meyers
- Pier Tim- Senegalize chef who Eric heard on NPR show Lynne Rosetta Kasper, The Splendid Table. Eric notes that the conversation changed his life. Pier Tim discussed the concept called “Teranga” which is all about hospitality- bringing all people in your home and give of yourself, bring joy and sustenance.
Music by Commonwealth Choir