For those that have been following and growing with Montero’s Restaurant, you know the history of Andy Montero as the muffin man – but you may not know the whole story. In this month’s blog, we’re giving you a little insight into Andy, and why people still call him the Muffin Man.
If you’re from Elizabeth City, you know about the coffee shop Muddy Waters. There, Andy began making what he calls “Texas-sized muffins and danishes.” On a daily basis, he would bake them fresh, and deliver them to Muddy Waters every morning. As their business began to level off after their opening, and Andy was able to make too much product for them to take, he would take them to the other business in town that he was familiar with, State Farm. Andy walked in, told them what had happened, and offered them the muffins that were leftover, since he didn’t want to waste them. There was a woman there who told him “if you come by every week with these things, I’d buy them!” and that’s when a lightbulb went off.
Andy decided from that point to purposely bake more items and pick another location to deliver it to – and did this day after day. For the first trip to each location, he always gave them muffins for free and told them which day he would back. After only two weeks, there were 75 stops on his route and he officially had a business. Not only was he able to start a successful business, he was able to create and foster personal relationships with people all over Elizabeth City. He spent extra time at these stops, talking to people there about the future restaurant that Andy and Karin were working on (and the catering services that they already provided, with small, in-house style dinners and smaller events). After a while, catering opportunities came for things like office luncheons, private dinners, and even small wedding receptions.
After 4 years of doing this about 5 days per week, Montero’s Restaurant was opened, and the following of the Muffin Man supporters gave an incredible pool of fantastic, supportive clientele to it. Because people knew (and know) Montero’s Restaurant on a personal level, they come back time after time for the atmosphere, friendship, and incredible food. A part of the Muffin Man still stays with the restaurant as an homage to what started it all – the days of delivering to businesses all over town – with mini muffins in the bread basket for the table.
One of the things that we’ve always loved about being in Elizabeth City is the camaraderie of the town, and how we all rally one another. Because of the amazing support of the community for the Muffin Man, Montero’s Restaurant has only grown and become more successful. We couldn’t have done it without wonderful city and its citizens that have always loved and supported us.