Finding made-from-scratch, high-quality food, served in a fun, exciting atmosphere can sometimes be challenging. This is not the case if you are in the Maple Grove area of Minnesota. Rock Elm Tavern provides customers with a classic American fare that prides itself on utilizing local beef, pork, and produce. Likewise, it can be just as challenging finding high-quality equipment for back-of-the-house restaurant applications. Troy Redding, owner of two locations of Rock Elm Tavern and another restaurant called Holman’s Table, discovered the quality he was looking for in Nor-Lake.
“Purchasing equipment for my restaurant was a huge decision and one that I knew I needed to take very seriously,” says Redding. “The equipment in your restaurant is not only a large investment but the overall process of planning, purchasing, installation and service needs to be seamless.”
As part of the planning process, he attended the National Restaurant Association Show a few times. Among countless other companies, he visited the Nor-Lake booth and was quickly impressed with its booth, products and information. Redding also enlisted the help of Rapids Foodservice, a contract and design firm for commercial kitchens. When the time came, he purchased all his Nor-Lake equipment through Rapids. “I had certainly done my homework and knew what I ultimately wanted but they [Rapids Foodservice] brought everything together and made sure the design and layout of the equipment utilized my kitchen footprint while ensuring that all of the new Nor-Lake pieces would integrate well with the cooking equipment,” Redding says.
Redding purchased undercounter refrigerator base stations to go underneath his grills, five sandwich prep tables and three walk-in coolers. He was instantly impressed with how well all pieces were constructed. “The base cabinets are very solid and hold a lot of weight which is exactly what I needed. All of the components that are used on each piece of equipment hundreds of times a day, such as the drawers, doors, and casters are really put through the test in my kitchen and they prove to be dependable day-in-and-day-out,” Redding says.
While it is crucial that the equipment is reliable and dependable every day, it also needs to be efficient and easy to maintain. “Our utility bills are lower at the Maple Grove Rock Elm Tavern and I know that is in-part due to the energy-efficient Nor-Lake equipment,” Redding says. “Plus the equipment is very easy to clean and maintain which is critical when you’re dealing with food. You can serve the best-quality, freshest food around but if your kitchen is not clean then everything else is kind of pointless. Employees are more likely to clean equipment that is easy to maintain every day. I know if equipment is cleaned properly on a regular basis it will also last longer.”
Troy Redding has worked in the restaurant business for over 30 years. There are lots of elements that make a restaurant successful: the menu, the location, the atmosphere, the employees, the list could go on-and-on but Redding knows that the equipment and all of the things the customer never sees are just as important to making his business successful. Serving 2,000 people per week at the Maple Grove Rock Elm Tavern, would never be possible without the equipment behind the scenes. “I have full intentions of opening more locations of Rock Elm in the future and Nor-Lake will be my first and only choice when it comes to refrigeration and freezer equipment,” Redding says.