In this series we are highlighting couples that own and run restaurants in Atlanta. We’ll talk about what it’s like to work together as a couple among other personal aspects. This week’s features is Tony and Jennifer Tiberia, owner’s of Decatur’s Sprig Restaurant.
1. How did you meet? We met at Houlihan’s restaurant. Monday January 13th 1993, 10:30am. I had been working my way thru college waiting tables. Jennifer was part of that Monday’s new trainees. After she was introduced to the staff at line up, i turned to a friend and bet him that I would go out with her first. I guess I won.
2. What is the first meal your spouse cooked for you? I (Tony) actually do the cooking. The first meal that I cooked for her was a simple Italian pasta dish call Spaghetti all Puttanesca. (we drank a bottle of Antinori Chianti)
3. If you didn’t run a restaurant, what other business would you see yourselves doing? We are “serial” entrepreneurs, not originally restaurant people. Prior to opening our first restaurant Sprig 6 years ago we built and ran 2 technology companies (which we sold), and precious metals company. I guess if we didn’t run a restaurant today, we’d probably do something with animals. We have 5 dogs.
4. What is the biggest challenge you face as a restaurant proprietor? Finding the right kind of help. Fortunately, we have a great Executive Chef (Britt Cloud) and two awesome General Managers (Rich Walker – 1910 Public House and Heather Woodall – Sprig) who make our operation run as smoothly as possible.
5. Obviously the restaurant industry is very demanding. How do you find time to just be a regular married couple and not business partners? Sometimes we just have to make it happen. We both work 15 hours a day (not necessarily always in one of our restaurants), and we carve out time for the family and each other. When we do go on vacation we try to leave work behind.
6. When you are not running your restaurant, what is your favorite thing to do? We have 2 boys (15 and 11). They take up most of our free time. Typically with their sports, school, etc.
7. Where do you like to dine in Atlanta when you have the chance to dine out? Antica Posta (in bulkhead) is our favorite Italian restaurant in town. Miller Union is fantastic (great wine list). Antico Pizza is also a family favorite.
Read Part 1 of Power Couples Series
Read Part 2 of Power Couples Series
Read Part 3 of Power Couples Series
Read Part 4 of Power Couples Series