From Delaware to North Carolina to South Carolina, Matt N. has not only been with Calvert Retail for a long time, but he’s also helped open stores and develop concepts within the company! Find out more about his career journey over the last 7 years!
Q: How long ago did you first apply for a position with Calvert Retail and what was the position you were applying for?
MN: In 2009 my wife, son, and I relocated to the eastern shore of Maryland, after living in Baltimore for the first 30 years of my life. A management position was open at Cape Wine & Spirits in Lewes, next door to Kitchen & Company and also [formerly] owned by Calvert Retail. I applied and interviewed with both Eric, Calvert Retail’s owner, and Shannon, the current Store Manager at Kitchen & Company in Lewes. I was hired in October of 2009. In 2010, I became the manager at Cape Wine & Spirits and shortly after another management position opened next door at Kitchen & Company so I was able to juggle both stores at the same time. At that point in my life and career I had limited exposure to the kitchen and was timid to jump into that role. Fortunately for me I had a great support team (Sandy and Shannon) and I was able to quickly learn the ropes in the cooking, dining and entertaining industry.
Q: Wow! What have you been up to these past 6 years with the company?
MN: Now I am the Store Manager of Kitchen & Company in Mt Pleasant, SC (one of the greatest places on earth). After being the Store Manager of both Kitchen & Company and Cape Wine in Lewes, I moved down to Asheville, NC to help establish a new concept store for Kitchen & Company. We incorporated a wine shop into the new store, known as Vintopia. Vintopia has a lot of local craft beers (which is huge in Asheville!) and a large selection of wines from around the world. In the summer of 2015, a need for a Store Manager at a new location in Mt. Pleasant arose. This store, too, would have a Vintopia section. I was more than willing to move again and help out with the new store set up and opening. I feel that my greatest accomplishment to date while working for Calvert Retail has been the store set up, hiring and training of all the new associates here in Mt Pleasant!
Q: So with your background in beer & wine, and overseeing Vintopia for the last few years, what would you say are must-have to pick up this summer?
MN: I love Vintopia’s rosé selection, and being this far south, the hot summers really call for a French rosé. Almost anything light, crisp and dry in our French section is what wine I’ll be drinking right now. On the flip side of things, beer down in Mt Pleasant is really taking off and I have really been into the local craft beers, particularly Coast Brewing and Westbrook. You can almost close your eyes and pick anything from either one of these breweries and I would recommend it. My hot weather beer would have to be Coast Kolsch, though.
Q: Each week Kitchen & Company does a demo. In the many years you’ve done them, which one has been your favorite and why?
MN: I really have loved the demos on the ceramic grills. We have been using Kamado Joe for these demos. From desserts, to wings, to beer can chicken, the Kamado Joe is just a fun product and the demos are fun too. Guests always have so many questions and are very engaged which makes it even more enjoyable for us!
Q: Alright, last question! If you were to invite your biggest idol to dinner at your home, who would it be and what would you cook for them?
MN: By far the hardest question because I could go so many different ways right now…but I am going to have to stick to my Baltimore/Maryland eastern shore roots and say I would love to have the greatest shortstop ever to play the great game of baseball, Cal Ripken Jr, come over and steam some blue crabs and grilled corn. I may even go so far as to put a couple dozen Natty Bohs on ice — in a Yeti of course — to compliment the crabs and corn. It truly wouldn’t get any better than that!