STOW – The name of the diner came with the business when Brian Krasney bought Garretts Mill, 4226 Hudson Drive, in February 2015.
"I really wanted to buy and the previous owner really wanted to sell," he said.
Krasney is not only the owner but the cook. The diner is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is available for private events.
Garretts Mill Diner had been serving Stow and the surrounding area for more than 20 years and when the opportunity came to run a family-friendly restaurant, Krasney couldn’t turn the opportunity down.
"Here was a chance to fulfill both my dream of owning a small business along with my daughter’s love of pancakes," he said.
Krasney, who had worked in retail computer systems, wanted to work for himself.
"If I was working this hard, I might as well work for myself," he said. "I am dedicated to providing great food with great service, and I have made changes to not just the menu, but the entire restaurant, too."
The flat top grill is twice as big as the previous one, and Krasney said he focuses on breakfast with a small lunch menu to serve those who come in from the local businesses.
"Our primary thing is breakfast," Krasney said. "That’s a beautiful thing. As more restaurants get into breakfast, it’s better for us, because they don’t make everything fresh like we do. You can taste the difference."
Krasney said he does 90 percent of the cooking during the week but on busy weekends he splits the cooking with another person.
"We don’t make the food until it’s ordered," Krasney said. "It can be particularly hard on the weekends, but we’ve built a loyal customer base who appreciate the freshness."
Krasney said the restaurant is known for its pancakes, which are plump in the middle and crispy on the edges. When he opened the restaurant, his oldest daughter was 16 months old and loved the pancakes.
He translated her "Yum, yum," to mean "It would be incredible if you had a place like Garretts Mill."
He has three daughters now, and he cooks for them at the restaurant and at home.
Besides Krasney’s specialized pancakes, corned beef hash and the banana Nutella and cream cheese crepes are popular, he said.
The King of Corned Beef Hash has a quarter-pound of corned beed with grilled onions, served over crisp home fries with three eggs to order and rye toast.
Krasney must be doing something right. He said 2018 has started out as the best three months for business.
Krasney said he has built a team of employees, and he doesn’t have the big staff turnover that is common in the restaurant business.
"If you do a job right, you have good retention," Krasney said.
Two of his employees, Dave and Jeff, have developmental disabilities and he describes them as reliable and hard-working.
"In business school I saw a video about an auto parts company that used developmental disabilities individuals on the assembly line," Krasney said. "The benefit is reliability for repeat tasks."
Hattie Larlham acted as an agency and sent individuals in for a job interview, he said.
Some of the equipment has a universal design that allows David and Jeff to operate them. They have become partners in serving customers by looking for improvements such as putting the bread in resealable containers instead of opening and closing the bags it comes in.
The restaurant business involves prep work like filling butter or salsa containers, which David and Jeff can do when not waiting on customers.
David said he likes working with the customers and talking to people as well as working with Krasney. David, whose favorite foods are pancakes or a turkey club sandwich, has 15 years of restaurant experience, but Krasney looks for opportunities for David to learn more, including some cooking.
"I learned more here than my previous jobs," David said. "I like it better here and recommend others work here."
Jeff said he enjoys getting to know new people. He works the register and adds up the money in the drawer to help Krasney.
His favorite food is the chicken tenders and fries and for breakfast, the classic with two eggs and toast.
More information and menu is available at www.garrettsmilldiner.com
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434or firstname.lastname@example.org