“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Story By Katrice Williams Photos By Shelia Scott
The Loft Café definitely offers a delectable dining experience. It has been a noteworthy and sought-after restaurant in the community since its inception in 2010. As the café begins its 8th year of service, its two co-owners, Bruce Kirwan and Zach Wooten, are excited about what’s to come. Though some things like the extraordinary customer service and palate-pleasing products have not changed, the restaurant’s exterior face with its bold, new image has. However, customers have the opportunity to continue to enjoy great food at the same convenient location as before.
Bruce Kirwan continuously strives to differentiate the café from others. Early on, he wanted to assure that each customer’s experience would be memorable, and he understands that a good amount of effort is needed for that to be a constant reality. Bruce and Zach feel that service is always the essential foundation for a successful venue.
“We try to give that service that you don’t find in any other areas,” Bruce remarks.
Bruce and Zach strive to employ individuals who value the importance of high levels of customer service and also understand the substantial difference that they make in customers overall dining experience.
Regarding employees, Zach states, “I like to see personality and pride in their work.”
Though the team is small, which works well for the atmosphere dynamics and business demands, each team member strives to remain true to Bruce and Zach’s goals for the business, which is simply: great service, great food, great atmosphere.
Besides exceptional levels of service, the two co-owners place extremely high standards on all of the products that are served at the restaurant. Though the price is truly reasonable, to a customer’s delight, nothing about the quality of food is compromised. Only the freshest, most choice ingredients are used to prepare each dish. Additionally, there is a very consistent turnover with the items, as nothing is stored for long periods of time. Bruce and Zach commit to product quality by only ordering what is necessary to be prepared within just a few days. This means that there is “never any spoilage,” no freezer-stored or old food on hand; the “items are in and out.”
Zach insists, “Anywhere I eat, I’d personally rather pay for a quality meal. You can tell a difference in the materials.”
All of that is a formula for an exceptional meal. Each order is important and is prepared with that in mind-the two guys would have it no other way.
“Every order gets ‘done-up.’ It’s done to order. I hand-prepare every order–from every sandwich to the flatbreads…you name it. It’s made fresh when you get it,” Zach comments. He knows that it may take just a little longer to prepare, but feels that it is “well worth it.”
The team strives to ensure that the atmosphere is consistently welcoming for all of their customers. In fact, Bruce and Zach had a vision for the business early on, and they persist to ensure that even now.
Bruce mentions, “I wanted a homey environment…trying to give that southern-comfort feel.” Zach agrees that a warm and comfortable atmosphere is not only beneficial but essential.
The menu has more of an American-traditional type scope. Whether enjoying the wide array of signature sandwiches, including the Corned Beef or Turkey Reubens, which are topped with either sliced corned beef or smoked turkey breast, along with “sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing” or the French Dip Au Jus Sandwich, made with “Au Jus dipped roast beef with Provolone cheese on an Italian roll,” it’s hard to go wrong with any of the sensational sandwiches. Many customers prefer the variety of wraps that are offered, which may include the famous Club Wrap, with its “smoked turkey breast, ham, thinly sliced bacon, Provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise” or even the Chicken Caesar Wrap, which includes “grilled chicken breast, romaine lettuce, shredded Italian cheese and Italian dressing.”
Further, the two agree that the delicious flatbreads that are made similar to pizza are definitely a big hit with many customers. From the Buffalo Chicken Flatbread, topped with “grilled chicken breast fillet smothered in homemade buffalo sauce, mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of Ranch dressing” to the Chicken Pesto Flatbread with its “grilled chicken breast, mozzarella cheese, Portobello mushrooms and homemade peso sauce;” these are truly tasty and sure to please.
Regarding the flat breads, Bruce states, “No one else really does it for the price…we do them pizza-style.”
Bruce and Zach admit that their fresh salads are often a fan favorite. Whether it is the Greek Salad made with “lettuce, sliced ham, feta cheese, black olives, tomatoes, red onions and house Greek dressing” or their chicken and tuna salads, customers do not leave disappointed.
“They’re fresh…topped with a lot of ingredients. These are always the best. They’re not pre-made, sitting in a cooler all day,” Bruce insists.
Interestingly enough, Bruce and Zach take pride in making as many homemade dishes as possible, including both their pasta and potato salads, along with their salad dressings.
Bruce mentions, “Anything that we can effectively create, we try to.”
The two co-owners agree that franchising ideas and other business ventures may be entertained sometime in the future; however, they are both pleased with the direction that the business is going.
Bruce Kirwan and Zach Wooten, along with their team at the Loft Café, plan to continue to keep customers first, knowing that real quality will always count. They welcome all, saying, “Come eat with us.”