Member of the Month: The Rockefeller

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February 27, 2017
The Rockefeller

Member of the Month

Q & A with owner Christopher Bredesen

How long have you been a Chamber member?
We have been a member of the Chamber since our opening day, seven years ago. Being a part of the Chamber has and will always be a priority for us. Community is one of the most important aspects of our business and nothing represents community more than the Hermosa Beach Chamber. 
What is your business all about?
The Rockefeller is a New York inspired Gastropub + Crafthouse that serves craft beers, boutique wines and gastropub cuisine in a casual yet sophisticated environment. 

What makes your business unique? 
What makes The Rockefeller unique is our focus on the LOCALS in our community. Without the support of the local community, the business would never be able to succeed. We consistently push our staff to build personal relationships with our loyal customers and our marketing plan was put into place with a focus on the local community. 
Some examples would be ... 
Oyster Mondays - $1 Oysters (All night until we run out!)
Burger Tuesdays - 99 cent Burgers (The recipe changes every month)

What did you do before?
Before I started The Rockefeller, I was attending USC (undergrad) and Pepperdine (MBA) as well as working as a Los Angeles County Lifeguard during the summer months. 
How big is your staff?
At the moment, we have two locations with a staff of around 60 people.
How has your field changed since your business started?
The restaurant industry has (and currently is) going through a massive change due to government regulations and policy changes. These policy changes extend from minimum wage increases, food price increases, overall liability increases, etc. This has really hurt the small "mom and pop" locations, as profit margins fall to an unsustainable level. We really pride ourselves on staying true to our "small business roots," while figuring out ways to stay ahead of future issues in our field. 

What are the plans for your business' future?
We have a company goal to expand into new locations in the future. We already opened up our second location three years ago in Manhattan Beach, which was met with much success. The future expansion of our business is reliant on our EMPLOYEES' desire to expand. Your team is only as good as its weakest player, so we are building the strongest team possible. 

What is your most memorable moment with this business?
My most memorable moment with The Rockefeller was about one week ago. It was a regular Friday night at 6:30 pm and we were full with a small wait. Just a few years ago I would have been a bit concerned and jumped in to help the staff get through the rush, but not anymore. The staff was in high spirits, smiling, laughing, interacting with customers, there was not a hint of stress. It was at this moment I knew that years of hard work had paid off. We have built a team I am proud of. 

What’s the best thing about having a business in Hermosa?
The best thing about having a business in Hermosa is the COMMUNITY. This is a small town with fun, energetic and happy people. They make our job enjoyable and we are proud to serve them each and every day. 

What trends or insights are you finding in your field or market?
We are finding (unfortunately) that the restaurant industry is becoming more and more difficult for "mom and pop" operations. The costs of doing business are too high now and only the strong will survive. Rents, food costs, labor costs, permit fees, insurance, everything is getting more expensive. 
People in Hermosa do not want big chain restaurants to come in and take over every location, but with costs rising, this is a real possibility. It is for this reason that we aim to focus on catering to the local community as their support is the key to our success. 
What do you enjoy most about being a Hermosa Beach Chamber member?
What I appreciate most about being a Hermosa Beach Chamber member is the local support we get. We treat each other like family. If the Chamber needs something from us, they ask me directly and I know when I need something from them I will get that same type of direct support immediately. 

When you’re not working, where in Hermosa do you like to spend your time?
When I am not working I like to spend my time in the ocean. Surfing has and will always be my passion. My mom and dad have always been "Beach People" and I owe everything I have learned from them. 

The Rockefeller
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
418 Pier Avenue

*The Hermosa Beach Chamber's Member of the Month is selected every month at our Networking Luncheon. We randomly draw the name of one lucky Chamber member and feature that business in our Member Spotlight in special eblasts and posts to our social media pages. You could be next!