'Clean Eating' Restaurant Seeks New Owner to Keep Food Philosophy
Cafe One24 in Brookfield on the Wauwatosa border is up for sale — that is, for the right food-conscious buyer.
Renee Shecterle wanted to open a unique restaurant — a dining establishment offering health-conscious customers new and delicious menu choices. It would be a "clean eating" restaurant.
Her idea blossomed into Cafe One24 at 3705 N. 124St. in Brookfield, south of Capitol Drive. She hired as Executive Chef, Sarah Dusseau, who had a Menomonee Falls fitness studio and take-home meal business for her customers who were trying to lose weight.
"(Dusseau) had done this for a couple of years and I said, 'Why don't we open up a clean eating restaurant?'" Shecterle said. "That's how it evolved and we added a wine bar and a grill instead of just a cafe. We were just going to be open for breakfast and lunch but we decided to do dinner and the wine bar."
About a year later, Cafe One24's food philosophy has taken hold and it has a well-established customer base. But now Shecterle is facing a different challenge: she wants to sell the restaurant to re-claim more of her personal and family life.
New focus on family, volunteering
"We just became grandparents and we want to help our daughter out with watching our little one," Shecterle said. "I want to get back into the schools, volunteering to our church. I kind of had to put all of that on hold and I really want to get back to doing more things in the community and more volunteering. This just takes up too much of my time."
So Shecterle is looking for someone to buy Cafe One24. But not just any buyer. It has to be someone who shares her food philosophy and, most of all, her passion. That's why she's willing to wait as long as it takes to find just the right new owner to take over the operations.
"We want somebody that will come in and pick up the same food philosophy we have because we have such a great base of customers," Shecterle said. "I've got all the time in the world, really. We just promoted somebody within the restaurant to be my frontline dining room manager so that I'm able to back out a little bit.
Wanted: buyer with same food philosophy
Shecterle's food philosophy centers around portion-controlled meals that are prepared fresh.
"There are no trans fats, no fillers, and no processing has ever touched our food," she said. "There is no butter in our kitchen and we have no deep fryers. We use strictly olive oil and seasoning.
"Some of our main dinner entrees include a seared scallop dinner served with wild rice and a mango and corn grilled salsa with a little bit of Nueske's bacon with some sweet water micro grains on top. We also have blackened fish tacos and use Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper and different seasonings to bring out the flavor of the food without using butter."
Shecterle also has a very clear idea of the type of customers she wants to reach, people who are very conscious about what kinds of foods they are putting into their bodies.
"We use local and organic products as much as we can," she said. "We partner with local businesses. Our bread and hard shells for our tacos are hand made in the cafe. We support Cybros Bakery in Waukesha. We use Empire Fish in Wauwatosa for all of our fish and Growing Power of Milwaukee for all of our lettuce. We also work with the Wisconsin Grass-fed Beef Coop."
Shecterle said she's hoping that type of restaurant is just what another owner is looking for.
"It's important to me that we get somebody in there that has a passion," she said. "We've had a couple of people inquire about it and we'll see where that takes us."
Address: 3705 N. 124th St., Brookfield
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday