So many over the years have asked what is Mike’s really all about? And really I don’t have one concrete answer to give you. The biggest point I can center on is that Mike’s Place is a “Proud Independent Family owned restaurant.”
Mike’s was established back in the summer of 87, when it was just Deb and I with a vision and dreams of a family and jobs to support one. While the early years took a toll on both of us as we worried day to day if we would survive as we chugged on and took every obstacle as it reared its ugly head. Over time Mike’s evolved and made many corrections along the way as we carefully and some time unintentionally became Kent’s favorite grub spot and landmark.
One person who never gets enough credit is my wife Debbie who silently behind the scenes has worked her magic on book keeping and making sure we keep ahead of the curve on finances. She is also the gracious queen when she works the front of the house greeting the customers. Without her we would be nothing.
Through out the years I had one constant and that was the dedication of our employees. We are truly blessed by the longevity of our staff. Fortunatly we don’t have what other restaurants have which is a swinging door with employee turnover. My staff is reliable, dedicated, fun and understands that their job security is based on the customers that come through that front door repeatedly.
You see what we try to instill in all our employees is the fact that we are not a chain restaurant. We prepare all our food ourselves, and it doesn’t come precooked from some franchise distribution center. Yes it might not look exactly the same as it was the time before on the plate but that is what happens with homemade food. One thing for sure it will taste the same and you will get your money’s worth. We prepare everything from recipes we created and borrowed for years. Yes we will season our food, bland is a bad word. Yes you will get a full plate that will fill you and not cause you to stop for a buck burger on your way home. That’s what we do because we are an independent restaurant and we can.
We as a business also believe in giving back to the community. Community is what it is all about, “For the Greater Good!” I understand there are those out there in need of help and silently Mike’s Place helps. You see I think it is really no ones business what you do to help others, that is between you and the Lord, just please if you have the opportunity help someone else out.
Family is a big important word for me. I can remember when my kids were young and they would follow me one by one through the kitchen like little ducklings. I never dreamed that one day they all would be working here. While at time our staff feels like family, I do have my family involved extensively. All of my children work here, my oldest Hope and youngest Holly are now running our catering company and my son Cody is helping manage the restaurant. My sister Mary Beth is a longtime server, my brother in law Mark, who builds all the insanity I dream up and a few of their kids work here along with my wife and I. If this isn’t a family business I’m not sure what is.
Lastly management, I have a great dependable management staff. Number one is Tobin who has been here over 26 years and is now a shareholder in the company, Chris next on the list for Management longevity & creativity, and then Stan, Cody and Sparks. Any one of these managers will go out of their way to help you out with any issue you might run into. All we ever ask is if you had a problem that you give them an opportunity to correct it before you go on to some internet web site and pretend you’re a food critic and bash our local business. Regardless we would still welcome you back, that is just what we do.
In conclusion, my wife, my family, and the Mike’s Place family and I thank all of you for supporting us all through these years and giving us the opportunity to push the envelope on the restaurant scene. You see without you there would be no Mike’s Place. Thank you for your continued support!