Crab Cake Cafe: Bringing Concept To Reality
In the summer of 2010 on the typical family vacation to the Florida Keys is where the concept for Crab Cake Cafe originates. We were driving down what felt like a never-ending road from Key Marathon to Key West when we ran across a sign that read “Maryland Crab Cakes.” Having tried my fair share of them, I had to check this place out. I was a Maryland native and wanted to see what this place had to offer. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed, but I walked a way with something much more valuable…an idea.
The idea as you could have guessed was the foundation for what would be Crab Cake Cafe. What I noticed that day was:
- Maryland is well known for its crab cakes (even in other states)
- No one had ever executed a fast casual seafood restaurant (with quality seafood)
- It could be done if we kept it simple, made it quick, and delivered on quality
When I returned home, I began telling family members about the idea for Crab Cake Cafe. They all agreed that it was something, if done properly, that could be very successful. With a business plan in place and funding to support the project, my business partner and I began looking for a location in early 2011. The original idea was to open the first cafe in Columbia, Maryland but as we exhausted all options, our realitor pointed us to the current Riva Road location in Annapolis, Maryland. We became very intrigued with what the surrounding area offered our small business. It is a very professional and industrial area with a very diverse age group. This made possible the ablity to cater to those working in nearby offices while also being centrally located for families and young adults to come enjoy our fast causal experience.
Now that the location was set, we needed to develop a menu. For this, we brought in another Maryland native, Catherine Witt, to be our executive chef. With years of cooking experience and a degree in culinary arts we were very excited to work with her. She would work everyday creating eveything from crab cakes to vegetarian sanwiches. While our focus has always been crab cakes, we wanted to have something on the menu for everyone. Along with this idea, we wanted to keep the concept simple and true to the area, yet add some flavor that you would find in other regions. For example, aside from the tradtional crab cake, we have the following sandwiches:
- Baja Crab Cake Sandwich
- Hawaiian Crab Cake Sandwich
- New Orlean’s Crab Cake Sandwich
- Tex Mex Crab Cake Sandwich
Although we were rather ambitious in trying new flavors, we are proud and excited about the ones we chose. Along with having different flavors to satisfy just about anyones palate, we also provide a choice in toppings. We wanted to make not only a delicious product, but also create an awesome experience to compliment the food. Throughout the process we always put ourselves in the comsumers’ shoes and tried to think of what we would want from the concept. Because of that, I and everyone involved can endorse what we will be delivering to you. As the process has moved along we have finalized the menu, developed cooking procedures (using a conveyor belt to deliver crab cakes in 5 minutes), and worked on getting the building complete and ready for service.
The idea started from the belief that we could do something different and that is exactly what we plan to do. We will offer quick service, quality, value, and the ability to choose. You’ve never had crab like this before… and that is something we are genuinely proud to say. What started as a simple idea is becoming a very real reality.
Author– “The story and elements expressed in this article are those of the owners of Crab Cake Cafe”
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