Happy 5 Years
03 Mar 2021
Famous Toastery is celebrating well-deserved success amid the pandemic
By BRIDGET CALLAHAN
Photos by KELLY STARBUCK PHOTOGRAPHY
Celebrating your five-year anniversary during a pandemic isn’t exactly how most restaurant owners picture it, but Joe and Jamie Kloiber are pretty happy all things considered. Despite the lockdowns and restrictions, the Famous Toastery is going strong, so much so that the couple recently purchased the building.
“We have a lot of indoor and outdoor seating, it’s a big building,” Joe says. “Our capacity is 220, so even with all the social distancing in place, we can seat 110 people inside and another fifty outside. Because we had a lot of room, we’ve been very fortunate. Business has been really, really good.”
“There’s not a lot of silver lining to closing a restaurant ever, but we really took advantage of the 2-month lockdown. We painted, remodeled, deep cleaned, and upgraded to make our employees’ time easier. We really used that time to our benefit. That was really the first time Joe had that much time off, and the restaurant is usually open 363 days a year,” Jamie adds.
As the Toastery’s regulars know, the special menu is always evolving, though fan favorite’s like Joe’s grandmother Gigi’s lump crab cakes benedict, made Maryland style with a dill and Old Bay hollandaise, isn’t going away ever. And especially in a year as stressful and unpredictable as 2020, customers kept coming in for the comfort food flavors of kitchen creations like Nutella french toast, candied pecan oatmeal with honey and figs, or the Good Morning Burger served with bacon, brie, avocado, and an egg nestled on a brioche roll.
“We try to change the specialty menu every three weeks to a month, just to keep everything fresh,” Jamie says. “We will circle back to other specials throughout the year. Our chef has free reign, if he has ideas or wants to try something, we try it out on the specials menu first.”
“We have a lot of regulars who come in, so we like to mix it up for them,” Joe adds.
Thinking back on their pivot into the restaurant business five years ago, the Kloibers have definitely learned a lot, but they’re happier than ever with their decision.
“Turning this building into what it is was a huge satisfaction for me, and you know along the way, like any other career change, I was definitely “what the heck was I thinking?” It takes time and a lot of effort and a lot of hours,” Joe says.
“...and it takes a lot of good people, Joey has hired amazing people,” Jamie interjects. Joe agrees.
“We do have amazing staff. It’s been a big undertaking, but it’s been a blast. I’ve always loved this business and to turn it into a success is very gratifying. You have to keep the bar high in Wilmington. I tell my staff we can’t control what other people do, we can only control what we do here, and you cannot lower that bar.”
Famous Toastery, 6722 Wrightsville Ave, Wilmington, NC, 910-256-7030, famoustoastery.com