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Omnivore - A chat with Rich Chey about community service

The owner of Doc Chey's and Osteria832s wins award

Image In this week's Grazing column I visited Radial Cafe, Doc Chey's Noodle House and Osteria 832 Pasta & Pizza, inspired by the fact that the three restaurants recently received the Georgia Restaurant Association's annual Restaurant Neighbor Award. Doc Chey's and Osteria are both owned by Rich Chey's Homegrown Restaurant Concepts. Chey, who is well known for his community service, was particularly cited for his fund-raising efforts for firefighters. We swapped email earlier this week:

What motivates you to do so much community service?

Rich Chey: A big part of what I talk about with my team and my kids is the concept of karma — what goes around comes around. We give back to the communities we serve because it is the right thing to do and we do it with no expectations of receiving something in return. What I have found is that it has helped with employee retention because our people appreciate working for an organization that not only cares about them but also cares about the communities we serve. My hope is that nurturing this attitude of “being of service” in my staff and my kids will help them “pay it forward” in every aspect of their lives.

How did you come to center on fire fighters?