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In The Kitchen with Bret Thorn

Carl Sobocinski of Table 301 restaurant group and Michael Minelli of Passerelle Bistro in Greenville, S.C., discuss work-life balance and foodservice culture

Minelli acquired his restaurant from Sobocinski as part of a broader succession plan


Carl Sobocinski has been spending the past 25 years or so creating popular restaurants in Greenville, S.C., and in the process revitalizing the center of that city and enabling his employees to develop great careers.

In fact, he has helped a number of his team members to stop working for him and work for themselves instead. Sobocinski has been spinning off his restaurants to employees in a number of deals involving both sweat equity and financial investment, creating a new set of entrepreneurs for this city that’s about midway between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta.

One of those entrepreneurs is Michael Minelli, a New Jersey native who fell in love with Greenville, started working for Sobocinski and is now the owner of Passerelle.

Sobocinski is also a northerner, born in Boston and raised in New Hampshire. He moved to South Carolina to study architecture at Clemson University, worked in restaurants and bars while studying and, as many people do, fell in love with the hospitality industry.

Sobocinski and Minelli recently discussed their respective careers and their plans for the future.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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