If you’ve read our other blog posts regarding local businesses reaching significant milestones, you know that we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. We’d also like to congratulate Scargo Cafe of Dennis, celebrating their 30th anniversary! Here’s what owner David Troutman had to say about the last three decades in business.
Scargo Cafe from the road, 1987
Q: Take us back to opening day. What were you feeling those first moments just before the door opened?
A: Excited that we were now working for ourselves with no one to answer to, and for opportunities to grow beyond simply working from shift to shift. But, at the same time, we were feeling pressure to get everything right the first time. There was a sense that there was no margin for error and that we could fail spectacularly. We had borrowed heavily, and there is no filing Chapter 11 against family.
Peter and David pondering how to attract more bar clientele, 1988
Q: Can you share any stories about opening day/business back in the first couple of years?
A: From the opening day blizzard in February of ‘87, we always had the support of friends and family. Our previous employer sent a snow plow, and former co-workers volunteered behind the bar and on the floor. Even with treacherous road conditions, a couple hundred people came out to celebrate.
Q: What is it about your establishment that sets it apart from other local restaurants?
A: The culture of inclusion and the emphasis on having fun while at work permeates through to the clients we serve and makes for an experience that makes people want to come back again and again.
Q: Who inspires you, business-wise?
A. Locally, Tony Shepley (Shepley Wood Products in Hyannis) is a person who is genuine, treats his staff like family and is an extremely community-minded businessman. At the national level, a man named Scotts Kriens, who made billions in tech, is now actively not only giving money away, but is personally involved in making the world a better place.
Q: Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs thinking of opening a restaurant on Cape Cod?
A. Not really. Some would say we were lucky, others would say we made our own luck. I'd just caution anyone to enjoy the ride because, win or lose, it goes by in a blink.
Q: What is your favorite item off the menu?
A. Because our menu is ever evolving, our favorites change. Last week’s special halibut was killer, but today the salmon is worth writing home.
Q: What about your business gives you the most satisfaction?
A. Happy patrons, happy staff.
Q: What do you attribute your long success to?
A. Our ability to change and respond with the times and our attention to the human element.
Q: What is something you want everyone to know about your establishment that they might not know already?
A. It's haunted, come by for a scary good time.
Thank you, David Troutman, for taking the time to answer our questions. May you and your brother Peter enjoy many more years of successful business!
There are several other local businesses celebrating milestones this year! Read their interviews here: Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar, CARE for the Cape and Islands, Guapo’s Tortilla Shack, and Snow’s Home and Garden.