New Freshies owners look to carry on restaurant’s traditions, with some new ideas | SteamboatToday.com

New Freshies owners look to carry on restaurant’s traditions, with some new ideas

The staff at Freshies poses for a photo with new owner Seann Conway (second from the left) outside of the restaurant Tuesday morning.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — New Freshies Restaurant owners Seann Conway and Scott Buchler are excited to start a new chapter at one of Steamboat Springs’ most popular breakfast and lunch stops. However, the new owners also plan to carry on the tradition Freshies has for providing great service and good food.

“We are excited about the opportunity and will follow the formula at the Ore House,” said Buchler, who is also a partner with Conway at the Ore House at Pine Grove Restaurant and Loft 71. “Freshies is already a great restaurant and we will work to keep it that way.”

The two recently purchased Freshies from Scott and Kristy Fox, who opened the restaurant in 2003 and owned Winona’s Restaurant and Bakery in downtown until 2004.

“Through their broker, we were approached with the idea, and learned that they were interested in selling the business and giving the opportunity to someone else,” Conway said. “The emphasis on service and the friendliness that you’re dealing with at Freshies very much mirrors what we do for dinner service at the Ore House.”

Conway and Buchler purchased the business at the end of October, but have been pretty low key about spreading the news while getting settled into the new space.

“I think the biggest challenge is probably people’s perception,” Conway said. “People often look for change instead of looking for what stayed the same. So you have to balance progress with tradition.”

Conway said the plan is to continue to serve breakfast and lunch, and to carry on the traditions of great service that customers have found the past 17 years.

“When you buy a successful restaurant, you don’t change much,” Conway said. “We want to continue the legacy and maintain the traction that this restaurant has. It would be foolish to try to change anything about it other than, you know, just areas and the opportunities where we can continue to improve to expand.”

That means customers can expect to find the same menu items including the Freshies homemade cinnamon rolls, buttermilk pancakes, huevos rancheros and burrito for breakfast, which is currently served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

The restaurant’s lunch menu will continue to offer chili-lime fish tacos, emerald wrap and the avocado griller, just to name a few, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

Freshies also offers the grateful Veg burger and salads including the Meadows and Freshies and Jen’s homemade chicken salads at lunch.

Conway said Freshies will continue to offer catering services for everything from special events, office parties, meetings and everything in between.

Courtnay Browne, who has been with Freshies for 10 years, and Karly Brookman, who manages the front of the house, will continue to lead a staff of nearly 30 longtime employees who have set the standard for service at the restaurant.

“I think what makes Freshies special is the energy in the atmosphere here,” Browne said. “We have awesome food and great service. What you get when you come here is more than just a good meal — it’s the relationships that we’ve built with customers that come in three times a week or every day. I think that’s something special that you don’t get it a lot of other restaurants.”

Brookman is also excited about the new ownership, and while they don’t plan to make any major changes, she is excited about some of the new ideas.

Conway also plans to stick to the formula that has made Freshies a success in Steamboat, but said customers should be looking for a couple of changes, including the addition of a limited breakfast menu that will be offered after the restaurant has stopped serving its full breakfast and an expanded grab-and-go service so that customers can call in and place orders.

Currently, customers can call the restaurant and place orders that can be picked up. Eventually, he plans to add mobile ordering options to make it easier for customers to enjoy Freshies’ food on the go.

But he said the changes will be small and deliberate and he understands that the strength of what Freshies has to offer comes from its staff.

“The core and the heart of this restaurant remains the same, and it revolves around the staff,” Conway said.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.


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