Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Flatbread Will Shutter Its Vineyard Operation: Martha's Vineyard Airport (KMVY), Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

Flatbread, the popular wood-fired pizza franchise near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport that has hosted fundraisers, family dance parties and concerts, will not reopen this summer, owner Jay Gould has confirmed.

“The season is too short for us. We do very well in July and August, but it’s not enough,” Mr. Gould told the Gazette in an email early Tuesday.

Mr. Gould, who owns the building along with Brion McGroarty, the owner of MV Wine and Spirits next door, said he hopes someone may want to take over the restaurant as a new franchise owner. “As an independent franchise it may be financially viable without all our corporate overhead. This would be our first choice,” he wrote.

Flatbread has been operating since 2010 in the space that formerly housed the Hot Tin Roof and Outerland nightclubs. For the first two years Mr. Gould partnered with Nectar’s, the Burlington, Vt., nightclub, but in 2012 the music promoter bowed out and Flatbread took over as the sole owner. Mr. Gould is the chief executive officer of the Flatbread Co., a franchise of the American Flatbread Company in Vermont.

The first Flatbread pizza restaurant under Mr. Gould’s ownership opened in Amesbury in 1998; Flatbread restaurants can now be found from the Hamptons to Maui. The pizza is baked in a handmade clay wood-fired oven using organic flour and ingredients sourced from local farms. The environment is deliberately casual and all Flatbreads host weekly fundraisers for local organizations.

But in his email Mr. Gould said the extreme seasonality of the Vineyard has been an obstacle.

“There was only one problem — the short season — and this is something we cannot fix,” he wrote. “We loved the Island and in a way it was the perfect place for Flatbread — and as most of us at Flatbread are surfers and beach lovers, having a store on the Vineyard seemed great. We were only open in the summer and the Island has an abundance of local and organic farms. Using local and organic food was something we pioneered 16 years ago before it became popular.”

He concluded on a note of thanks:

“We would like to thank our fantastic local Island crew and Tina Miller our manager, Julia Celeste our assistant manager and Karen Dutton our kitchen manager. We would also like to thank all of our Island supporters.”

- Story, Comments and Photo: http://vineyardgazette.com

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