In its 25th year, the Small Business Forum and Leader Award
(fondly SBFLA) program honors and recognizes leaders of small
businesses who have achieved company success while contributing to the
development of our community. We are grateful for the support of our
Presenting Sponsor Commerce National Bank and Partner Business First,
plus numerous sponsors who make this program possible. Each day before
the 2009 Small Business Forum and Leader Award, we'll profile our
Finalist: Over $1 Million in Revenue – Kamal Boulos, The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro
Growing up in the Catskills in New York provided opportunities to work in the mega resorts of the day. Working winters washing dishes from ages 14-18, Kamal says this experience was very influential in shaping his personal philosophy. For the next few years, he washed dishes and waited tables in other hotel resorts, such as the fabled Concord Hotel. At age 20, he was hired as the kitchen manager at Rock Horse Ranch Resort, which featured a dining room seating 500. Eventually he was promoted to Maitre D.
In 1976 Kamal moved to Columbus. For the first year, he worked at the Olde Church House Restaurant on and off to help out the owners, while he pursued a career selling securities. In 1977 he accepted a full time position as Assistant General Manager, and continued to work for those owners as General Manager from 1978-1981. In 1991 Kamal purchased the restaurant outright. His philosophy is to elevate the experience of the guest during the time they are at The Refectory. Accomplishing this on a daily basis is what drives him.
Boulos has always believed that wine is an every day beverage of moderation to be enjoyed with food in celebrating life. In 1981, a dream of building a world class wine cellar with 12 bottles of wine in a metal locker culminated ten years later with a 17,000 bottle wine cellar and the only restaurant in Ohio to receive The Wine Spectator’s Grand Award. The Refectory is one of only 95 restaurants world-wide to receive this prestigious award. Guests of The Refectory enjoy the benefit of the great commitment and patience required to cellar wines to reach their peak.
Kamal’s commitment to excellence in cuisine, service, and wines has been acknowledged by both guests and the many awards the restaurant has received.
Award recipients will be announced at the 2009 Small Business Forum and Leader Awards on November 10, 2009.