Carving Board CafÃ?Â© handed off
Since opening their little Albemarle Square sandwich shop in June 2005, Carving Board Caf© chef/owners Justin Van der Linde and Candice Liptak have turned it into one of the most popular lunch spots in town. Now they’ve turned it over to fellow Johnson & Wales cooking school grad, Ken Beachley and his wife, Jennifer.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a negative review of the Carving Board anywhere, and it has been consistently ranked among the top five eateries on both Charlottesville-Dining.com and the Hook’s Foodfinder, not to mention a Reader’s Choice Award from the Daily Progress last year. Last August, new Virginia governor Bob McDonnell saw fit to make the Carving Board Caf© a launching pad for a campaign stop at the University of Virginia.
So why give it up? Liptak says Van der Linde (who happens to be recycler Peter Van der Linde's nephew) decided he wanted to be a massage therapist, and that the couple wants to start a family. But they are taking the time to guide the Beachley's, who also own the Italian Villa, through the transition.
The secret to their success? Pay attention all you present and future restaurateurs”Š
As Liptak told the Hook just a month after opening, "We enjoy providing excellent service, and we care more about our customers being satisfied than making a buck.”
Today, Liptak stands by that statement. "That's the reason for our success," she says. "It's a motto we continue to live by, and that we are passing on."
Over the last few years, the two young Johnson & Wales cooking school grads reminded us that reputations are built on keeping the horse before the cart.
As for the Beachley’s, they plan to leave the menu exactly as it is. Smart move. In fact, Liptak says that’s the reason they turned the place over to the Beachley's, because they trusted them to take care of the customers who have come to expect so much. With stints at the Jefferson Hotel and the Waldorf-Astoria, Ken Beachley appears to have the chops to keep the lunch crowd loyal, plus he’ll be continuing the tradition of baking, roasting, and smoking all their sandwich meats in-house.
"Everybody has been like a family here," says Liptak. "And we'd like to thank all our wonderful customers, and let them know that the caf© is in good hands."