Branching Out: An Interview with The Restaurant Source Owner, Arnie Schatz

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We sat down with Arnie Schatz, owner and operator of The Restaurant Source in Denver, Colorado to welcome the TRS family, and learn more about the history of the company. This is the first post of our special four-part Branching Out blog series featuring TRS, and we hope you join along with us as we introduce you to our new Denver family! 

Then and Now... 

Established in 1941 as the United Glassware China Co., the company originally sold only barware, glassware, and dishes. Schatz bought the company on October 23, 1976, changing the name to The Restaurant Source. As Denver started to grow in the late 70's, the company expanded into small equipment. By 1979, Schatz moved the company into a 15,000 square foot building, remaining there until 1986 once the new, and current 50,000 square foot building was built. "Now we have inside sales, outside sales, and a design and build department," says Schatz. "We do about $20 million per year - up from 100k per year when they started."

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Current 50,000 sq ft building located in Denver, CO

Today, The Restaurant Source continues to flourish thanks to Arnie Schatz and his children, Michelle Friedman, Linda Schatz, and Michael Schatz who served as President from 1993 until his passing in 2014. It is a hopeful time for the family with Michelle Friedman, Arnie's daughter and President, as they join the Bargreen Ellingson family. "TRS has been a major part of the whole Schatz family's life for over 40 years,” says Michelle. “Our employees are our extended family. We are so excited that we could sell our company to a family that shares our values and our passion for the business. We are so pleased to hand over the keys to Bargreen Ellingson and know that our legacy is safe and our employees are in good hands.”

All in the Family 

And Bargreen Ellingson could not be more excited to welcome The Restaurant Source with open arms. This change will signify growth and opportunity for both companies while keeping the tradition of family in the business; a value that has brought success to both companies for many years. "We are honored to be a part of Bargreen Ellingson because I believe they are a great family," says Schatz. "A family that will carry on the Restaurant Source tradition for years to come."

Read below for Arnie's interview. 


What has been your greatest joy in owning and operating The Restaurant Source? 

Having the whole family participate in the company during the growth periods and working as a family business.

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Michael and Arnie at the Stanley Cup in 2001

What draws you to the restaurant and hospitality industry? Why?

The challenge of doing something that I didn’t know about. I saw a good future in restaurants. I recognized that the city of Denver and the mountain region was going to grow, and that the restaurant industry would grow with it.

How do you see the foodservice industry changing? What excites you about these changes?

Denver is the number one city for growth, and will continue to grow. The mountains and suburbs are growing, along with major sports teams, theater, opera, and outdoor sports, thus creating the demand for foodservice. 

What is the best advice you have ever received throughout your career? How do you apply this advice to your job everyday?

Deal honestly. Be above board with everybody - employees, customers, and vendors.


Next week, look for our interview with Michelle Friedman, President of TRS! 

The Restaurant Source is located at 5005 Washington Street Denver, Colorado 80216.

Chloe is the Social Media and Marketing Coordinator for Bargreen Ellingson. She is an avid reader, loves London Fog lattes and her budgie, Brodie.
Topics: Branching Out Interviews News & Trends