Location: Baltimore, MD
Joe Squared is the vision of CEO Joe Edwardsen and his mother, Kathy Palokoff. They have both worked in the business since its inception 10 years ago. “We have give-back happy hours and each month create special-cause pizzas on our menu where proceeds are donated and nonprofits are publicized,” says Edwardsen.
“We have learned from experience that family members need to be both qualified and passionate about the business,” says Edwardsen. “You have to love the restaurant business — it is not for everyone.”
Fun Fact: Edwardsen has a degree in philosophy. He became a self-trained chef at an early age. In his own words: “Survival. I hated my mother’s cooking.”
“We hire based on expertise, experience and culture fit,” says Edwardsen. “One of the interesting communication channels we use is a closed Facebook group for employees. This is an active page where employees post ideas or needs and management provides key information.”
“The Joe Squared vision for our legacy is to create businesses that give back to the community, our customers and our employees every day,” says Edwardsen. “We want to enhance the urban living experience through venues that welcome people through good food, drink, music and art; employ artists, musicians and students so they can thrive; and contribute on a daily basis to the well-being and growth of the community.”
Pictured: Joe Edwardsen and his mother, Kathy Palokoff