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Door-to-Door Sandwich Vendor becomes Multi-location Restaurateur and Caterer with SBA Assistance
Gourmet Gang, Inc. is a multi-location bistro style deli restaurant and catering business that has grown since 1991 to become one of the largest and most successful local food service operators in the Tidewater area. Through the leadership of its owner, Michella Guinan, Gourmet Gang has grown from a small door-to-door sandwich vendor to a four location restaurant and large catering business. Gourmet Gang also serves various airline operations flying out of Norfolk International Airport. Employment has grown from one employee in 1991 to fifty employees today.
Mia Guinan’s early interest in the restaurant industry led her to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Administration from Florida State University. Following graduation, her first entrepreneurial enterprise venture began in 1986 when she conceptualized and co-founded Lettuce Souprise You, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. As Executive Vice President, she secured corporate financing and coordinated all aspects of design, development and construction, established all operating systems and programs and managed a team of 85 employees.
In 1991 Mia moved to Norfolk, Virginia where she developed a door-to-door sandwich vendor service. From the growth of interest in her sandwich business, Mia founded Gourmet Gang, Inc. Gourmet Gang, Inc. originally operated strictly as a food vendor service, but as demands for her products increased, Mia opened her first location. In 1996, she switched her business profile from food vendor to a pre-order delivery service and bistro style deli restaurant. As the popularity of the Gourmet Gang grew, and in order to more effectively serve her pre-order delivery service, she opened several satellite locations. In 2002, with the increase in her corporate catering division, Gourmet Gang, with the assistance of financing by Resource Bank, along with an SBA guarantee, moved her main kitchen facilities to a larger location that could serve her present and future needs. With the presence of the new location next to Norfolk International Airport, it was a logical next step to enter into the food service business for airlines operating from the airport.
Gourmet Gang’s commitment to unparalleled customer service, quality and value has been instrumental in its growth and success. Gourmet Gang has also given back to the community through assistance and contributions over the years. Some of the organizations it has assisted in 2004 include Jr. Achievement, Relay for Life, Virginia Ballet, Lynnhaven Business Association, Children of the Commonwealth Benevolent Fund, WHRO, Norfolk Rotary, EVMS Student Scholarship and Norfolk Botanical Gardens.
Mia is married to Neil Guinan, and they have two young daughters. Neil, a Lt. Commander with U.S. Navy Seal Team 8, is currently deployed overseas.