An Interview with Windmill Bistro's Chef and Owner, Bruce Patterson

With Mother's Day around the corner, we headed to Sumner, WA to visit with Bruce Patterson, owner, and chef of the Windmill Bistro. Windmill Bistro is a charming restaurant nestled away in a lush garden setting that can only be described as fairy tale-esque. During our interview, Bruce talks about the challenges he faced while transitioning from working in resorts to becoming a small restaurant owner, why he still makes most of his food in-house, and what motivates him every day. Read his interview below!

Topics: Restaurants & Bars Interviews

An Interview with El Toro's Angelica Arias

I recently met with Angelica Arias, General Manager of El Toro Mexican Restaurant to talk about her family's owned and operated chain since 1979. Still run by her father with Angelica and her siblings as partners, El Toro has successfully served five key locations in Tacoma, Washington for more than 35 years. Read Angelica's interview to learn more about their business, plans for future locations, and advice for starting your own restaurant chain.  

Topics: Restaurants & Bars Interviews

An Interview with Restaurant Owner & WSU Culinary Educator, Jim Harbour

As we pull into the parking lot of Pullman's South Fork Public House, I am surprised by the location. The restaurant is flanked by an Ace Hardware and Dollar Tree - an expected placement but one that was strategically planned by restaurant owner and Washington State University college professor, Jim Harbour. We are meeting for lunch to talk about his newest venture, CASK - a small tapas bar specializing in local beer and wine, complete with a unique 102 square foot kitchen and beautiful rustic interior.

Topics: Restaurants & Bars Interviews News & Trends

Meet Your Salesperson: Josh Smith

It's amazing what can happen when you combine a positive attitude with determination and gratitude. For Josh Smith, Territory Sales Representative in Seattle, that combination opened doors for him that may have otherwise been unimagined. Starting his career with Bargreen Ellingson in the distribution center, Smith worked his way into territory sales and now manages a territory that is one of the most densely-populated and growing cities in the Pacific Northwest. Read Smith's interview below to get a sense of his journey (and sense of humor) as well as the challenges that serve as motivation for him every day. 

Topics: Meet Your Salesperson Interviews

Branching Out: Jeff Gentling on the Importance of Customer Service, Technology & Listening

With a territory sprawling from Auburn to Burien to Northgate, Elliot Bay, and Snoqualmie Pass, a food scene exploding with new restaurants, chefs, and influencers every day, and a staff of 44, Seattle General Manager, Jeff Gentling, has a lot of exciting opportunities on his plate. In our latest Branching Out feature, Gentling opens up about one of his most inspiring customer moments, the importance of listening, and the simple joys of working in the foodservice industry. Read his interview below. 

Topics: Branching Out Interviews

Branching Out: Spokane General Manager, Tami Kennedy, Talks Success and Empowerment

With a management style respected and admired by her entire team, General Manager, Tami Kennedy, has helped the Bargreen Ellingson Spokane branch reach tremendous success. Covering all of Eastern Washington from the Canadian border to the Idaho Panhandle, Pullman, Moses Lake, Spokane and beyond, the small team of fifteen brought in 8 million dollars in sales in 2015, and has helped grow the "meat and potatoes town" into "a vibrant, multicultural" city with an ever-growing food scene. Read Kennedy's interview below to learn about her journey to success - a journey that she pursues every day with a positive attitude, determination, diligence and dedication to her team and herself. 

Topics: Branching Out Interviews

An interview with WikiFRESH Partner, Jan De Luz


WikiFRESH partners, Jan De Luz, Peter Kubota, and Ian Whitehead have created a restaurant that serves more than great, fresh food. They have cultivated a place that puts community first, donating to local charities and schools. Their "people first" culture is what gives WikiFRESH its edge, and provides a place for the community to gather, eat quality food, and feel welcomed. 

Topics: Restaurants & Bars Interviews

Meet Your Salesperson: Bianca Anaya

With a family background in the food industry and sales, it only seemed natural for Bianca Anaya, territory sales in Oahu, to explore working in the same field. Her passion for food, dining out, and meeting interesting people sparked her interest in the industry but it's the everyday challenges, rewards, and Ohana that keep her motivated. Read Anaya's interview, below, as she reflects on her journey and accomplishments, and her reasons for attending the Hawaii Foodservice Show in October.

Topics: Meet Your Salesperson Interviews

Design Tips with Contract Manager and Lead Designer, Peggy Marvel

Peggy Marvel, Contract Manager and Lead Designer for the Hawaii Division, has 28 years of combined restaurant and architectural design experience under her belt. We sat down with her to get the scoop on all the best tips and advice for creating a functional and beautiful foodservice space. Read below to learn more!   

Topics: Restaurant Design Interviews

Branching Out Part 1: Oahu - Kevin Wilkinson on Living the Aloha Spirit

On Wednesday, October 12th and Thursday, October 13th, Bargreen Ellingson will be hosting the Hawaii Foodservice Show - the company's largest event of the year on Oahu. Helping lead the charge is General Manager, Kevin Wilkinson. Wilkinson manages over 50 employees and four of the major islands - Maui, Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island. With over 6000 foodservice licenses on Oahu, over a million full-time residents, and 3 million people on the island at any given time, Wilkinson is a busy man. Despite a full schedule, however, Wilkinson still finds a way to stay committed to his team, his family and living the Aloha Spirit.

In this special four-part Branching Out blog series, we will be island-hopping to each of our branch locations to share with you why you should know our Hawaii ohana. Keep a look out for interviews, recipes and more through the month of September! Continue reading Wilkinson's interview below.

Topics: Branching Out Interviews