Joshua Manocherian: From Photographer to Restaurateur

Joshua Manocherian Shares How His Restaurant Business Came About

In all my years as a professional photographer, it never once crossed my mind to shift to another career; one that is so far off from my profession at that! But when I married my wife, who is a successful chef, the idea of running a small business kept nagging at me. Joshua Manocherian here, and today I’d like to share my story on how I became a small restaurant owner.

How did the restaurant idea came about?

My wife loves whipping up her own recipes from scratch (she’s not a big fan of processed and pre-packaged food), and every time I come home, I look forward to trying out her latest invention. One time, when I broached the idea of opening a small business to her, she mentioned that we should open our own restaurant. With my interest piqued, I played with the idea—the theme, size, location, and such—until it eventually became my sole focus. With the business decided, it was time to work out the details.

Small, intimate, and personal

We wanted a restaurant that will feel more like you’re at your own dining area than an actual restaurant so the first unbendable rule was that it had to be small, intimate and personal—nothing fancy or frivolous, just your good ol’ dinner table at home.

Farm-to-table concept

Before I met my wife, I was all about instant food. My job required me to travel a lot and when you’re practically living in a suitcase, you just don’t have time to pay attention to what you’re eating. My wife was my saving grace. If it hadn’t been for her, I would still be on an unhealthy diet and who knows how long that’s going to sustain me. When we decided to put up a restaurant, one other unbendable rule that we had was to stay away from processed ingredients as much as we can; hence, the farm-to-table concept.

Luckily, my wife knows quite a number of local farmers and artisanal food producers, and when we approached them for our restaurant concept, they were only too happy to jump in and supply us with what we need.

Testing the waters

After all the details have been taken care of; from location to permits, interior design and menu, to everything in between, it was time to test the waters. First, we had to test the menu, so we gathered our closest friends and family and invited them to dinner for a dry run of the restaurant and the menu.

And after a few more tweaks, it was time to open our doors to the public for a soft launch. To say that we had an overwhelming reception would be an understatement! San Francisco was ready for something new and fresh, and lucky for us, we just happened to be at the right place and at the right time.

Please stay tuned for my tips on managing a small restaurant, which I will be posting in the coming days. If you would like to comment on this post, please feel free to leave me a message below. This is Joshua Manocherian once more; thanks for dropping by!




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