Culture Authentic Eatery Aims to be ‘Perfect Every Time’
With the amount of time Jody spends on the floor of both these restaurants, you would never know she is the owner.
Jody and Travis Wright have an extensive history in the restaurant business, both working in restaurants during college to pay their tuition. Jody graduated with a degree in Business Marketing and Travis obtained his Business Economics degree. While the two had spent their lives planning to peruse careers in these fields, it was hard for them to leave the restaurant industry.
“I fell in love with the business, the energy of the industry,” Travis said, with a smile on his face. “I love the atmosphere and everything about it.”
As Jody bartended through out college at Seacrets Bar and Grill and later went on to marketing and sales, she noted the excellent management staff she was always able to work under. She attributes much of her success at both restaurants to this factor.
After moving from Charleston, South Carolina to Ocean City, Maryland, Travis crossed paths with Jody.
“We did it all backwards,” Jody said. “We became business partners first, bought a house and then got married.”
The two purchased Shark on the Harbor on 46th St. in 2000 and moved to West O.C. in 2008.
Like many restaurateurs, the couple always tried new cuisines. When the two were in Arlington, Virginia, they stopped into a Peruvian Artisary Restaurant and fell in love with the culture. Every time the couple went back to the area, they stopped in, until Travis proposed the idea of opening a second restaurant on Delmarva, serving Peruvian food.
Jody was not so sure. She was nervous the type of cuisine wouldn’t survive in West O.C. After wrestling with the idea, Jody finally caved and decided they should open the restaurant with a ‘cultural approach’ but not before experiencing the Peruvian culture first hand.
The duo took a trip to Peru and took the time to meet the locals. They would ask the locals, ‘where do you go to eat?’ When Jody and Travis soaked in as much of the local culture as they could, they knew it was time.
Culture Authentic Eatery—that is what they named it.
The style is fast casual, making it a lot different than the Shark on the Harbor which tends to be a bit more formal. Culture’s average ticket time is 12 minutes.
“Kids can come in, you can grab food to go with out planning,” Jody said. “It’s good for a working meal, offices can order online, we encourage local sports teams to come in and grab a bite to eat after a game…”
And the list continues.
Jody and Travis recruited and trained a team of chefs to make sure the dishes at Culture are all standardized. Culture’s menu features beef causa, Peruvian salads, winter veggie bowls, fried yuca, purple potato salad and a variety of Peruvian drinks. Travis says the ingredients are different to almost everyone, creating a need for him to teach his staff how to make each dish, individually.
“We take pride in consistency, we want it to be perfect every time,” Travis said.
Each year, the menu items change to represent a different culture. On top of the annual change, each season, three dishes are added to the menu.
The cuisine isn’t the only thing Peruvian in the restaurant, the decor is made up of paintings from Peruvian artists and concepts from abroad. Every piece of decor in the eatery, has a meaning to it.
With that being said— the culture of the eatery will change annually, meaning a new culture will be introduced on April 22, Earth Day.
“Everything is designed with an overnight change over in mind,” Jody said.
The staff will spend the weeks before the change learning the new foods and the night before, the decor will be changed to match the next culture.
Although Jody and Travis wouldn’t spill the beans on the next culture change, they have a feeling the public will love it.
To follow along with the countdown, you can visit Culturerestaurant.com.