Jon Eisen is not only one of the partners of Between the Bread and its director of strategic growth, but he is also heir to one of the pioneers of the venture, which has delivered sandwiches to office workers since 1979. Ricky Eisen, Jon’s mother and the company’s president - who was born on the outskirts of Tel Aviv - decided to use large-scale catering to bring healthy meals to her clients in a more efficient way. Jon claims that the result was the first catering company in New York City. Ricky’s idea to use only healthy and local ingredients proved to be a pivotal moment in the way catering to corporate clients is done today. In 2013, Ricky put her son in charge of the retail and café side of the business, which up until that point had been secondary to catering. Recognizing the recent popular trend of eating healthy and local, Jon quickly began streamlining the production process, including installing digital cash registers to track customer orders. This lead to a doubling of revenue. His success prompted Ricky to name him partner in 2015. Despite these changes, the core of the business is still the same: using organic, fresh, and seasonal to serve “high quality meals. ” And to hear it from Jon and the head of brand strategy, Victoria Rolandelli, this core seems to resonate well with customers. Between the Bread opened two more locations in October 2015 and has plans to have a total of twelve locations throughout the city. Located in the Chelsea Terminal Warehouse, the 27th Street Between the Bread is in a massive space that was previously an unloading station for trains. In the not-too-distant future, once Hudson Yards is complete, it is Jon's hope that they will become the "new Chelsea Market. "
There are intriguing spaces sprinkled throughout the city that invite corporations to utilize their facilities, but stepping inside Offsite is a unique experience designed specifically for the business meeting clientele. The brainchild of Patrick Everett and Shawn Kessler, they have created a stunning turnkey facility where all day conferences can be held. Companies are invited to bring their employees together for a productive 9am-5pm meeting in the three levels of fully equipped space, which can then be flipped effortlessly into an appropriate venue for an evening event. The rooms are configured so that some forty people are able to sit around one gigantic table or be rearranged into smaller units. Attendees never have to feel confined to one space, as they can move around freely on each floor, dividing up into smaller breakout sessions, when necessary. The rooms are versatile and technology oriented, fully outfitted with AV equipment - as Patrick referred to it, "plug and play. " Endless pens and pads, drinks and snacks, including large jars of enticing candy, are provided throughout the day. The partners have paid attention to every detail, taking into consideration exactly what they believe their clients will require, including a small executive office that allows for a private phone conversation and a myriad of white walls that are actually whiteboards. Offsite works with some of the terrific catering facilities in the area to provide top lunches and dinners for groups, and everything is served on their attractive dishes. While being given a tour, Patrick told me that he had been an event planner. When he discovered that there was something important missing in the corporate world, he found his niche. As he began to imagine the possibilities, he worked diligently on his concept with Shawn. Basically all one has to do is book the space, and the rock star team at Offsite will handle the rest.
It is at these headquarters that of one of New York's top event designers, Frank Alexander, is known for transforming spaces into the perfect wedding, Bar Mitzvah, or press event. The designer has a serious reputation for creating beautiful memories and can cite a long list of celebrity clients.
It took a bit of perseverance and good detective work to track down Thomas Anderson, but I quickly learned why. For over thirty successful years in New York as both an architect and an event planner, Thomas has never been listed in the phone book, or had a website - quite an accomplishment in today's world. When I asked about his career, and his present business, Thomas excitedly relayed his history to me. At the age of fourteen, Thomas graduated high school down south and went onto receive an English degree at Georgetown University. Shortly after he began teaching at the University of Georgia, he became restless and applied to architecture school. He received that degree from Georgia Tech and then continued his studies in fine arts at Harvard. With enough education under his belt, Thomas ventured to the west coast where he worked with Burt Reynolds, his childhood babysitter. After completing five movie projects, Thomas was ready to finally settle in New York where his career flourished. Thomas told me that he was at a party one evening where the five Fendi sisters, of Italian haute couture fame, were in attendance. They asked him if he would organize a party for them. As he tells it, one thing led to another and an event business developed that has lasted some three decades. Thomas went on to say that every client was recommended by someone else. "I never needed a resume or a website. " He was able to combine both his architecture skills and his passion for event planning, becoming highly regarded and sought after around the world. From designing homes, renovating distinguished clubs, working with major clients in the business world to doing restoration work for the National Trust for Historic Preservation - including working on a castle in Ireland - Thomas has had a magnificent career.