Bart Potenza On Building the Vegan Candle Cafe Brand

It’s hard enough to succeed in the restaurant business, especially in New York City.

But, for more than 25 years, Candle Cafe co-owners, Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson, have not only created a powerhouse restaurant group, they’ve made organic, vegan farm-to-table cuisine soulful, delectable and seriously profitable.

In this wide-ranging interview, Potenza shares how he an Joy built Candle Cafe into not only a thriving business, but a committed, deeply-connected community, a vital movement and an organic extension of their deepest convictions.

You’ll discover how they balanced planning with “providence,” attracted people who were closely aligned with their mission, developed a mouthwatering vegan menu, brand extensions, frozen entrees in major retail stores, books and beyond. All the while, being true to themselves and to each other.

FYI – Joy was in full-on launch mode for their latest restaurant when we were filming, so she didn’t have time to come hang out on camera. BUT, as soon as we wrapped, Earth Mother Joy pretty much hand fed the entire crew and even may’ve made a few meat and potato converts!



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