Prior to the opening of WB’s Eatery, owner Amy Wanderley-Britt participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Entrepreneurship Program. The program is “an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital, and business support services.” She also received a loan through the Ogden Business Information Center’s (BIC) Small Business Loan Program (SBLP). For more information on business training programs or the SBLP, contact the BIC by phone at (801)629-8613 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It all started with a sandwich.
After returning home having traveled through Europe, Amy Wanderley-Britt and her wife Vivi lamented the conspicuous lack of a traditional Spanish-style sandwich called a bocadillo (pronounced "boka-diyo"). That desire inspired what would become the Latin European-inspired wine café and coffeehouse, WB’s Eatery.
WB’s (representing both Wanderley-Britt and “Wine and Bites”) is part of The Monarch – a 60,000 sf space self-described as a “collaborative environment where artists, creative businesses, and makers of all types can connect, inspire, and create together in the heart of Ogden’s Nine Rails Creative District.”
The space at the corner of 25th Street and Ogden Ave. was repurposed from a parking garage formerly used by the Bigelow Hotel – the architecture left relatively unchanged out of respect for its historical value.
“The biggest message to be sent here is no one wants to change Ogden,” Wanderley-Britt said. “It’s always been here; we want to show people all the cool artists and amazing things going on.”
Wanderley-Britt’s restaurant experience started at McDonald’s, of all places. One semester off from college to work at the fast-food chain turned into seven years, resulting in her becoming the youngest general manager of the chain’s highest volume restaurant.
Wanderley-Britt left McDonald’s to finish her degree and used the entrepreneurial skills she had acquired through her experience and education to open her first restaurant. Today, she’s an owner and managing partner in 360 Degrees Restaurant Group, which includes WB’s Eatery and three locations of Pig & a Jelly Jar.
“The whole thing we’re about is create, craft, curate, community, and commitment,” Wanderley-Britt said. “When I was approached about this space (in the Monarch), I couldn’t think of a better project I’d rather align myself with.”
Around the time Wanderley-Britt was looking to open her third Pig & a Jelly Jar location, she was taking a trip to Causey Reservoir and got rerouted through Historic 25th Street in Ogden.
Ogden had that small-town vibe she was familiar with in the South, where everyone is “all in” in rallying around things that are going to be good for the community. In the restaurant business in Ogden, she said, they’re really not competing with one another, they’re all just wanting to see each other succeed.
Each of Wanderley-Britt’s restaurants tries to foster that same culture of cooperation, support, and self-improvement; it’s all about making the most of what you have.
“One of the points I try to make within my company is everything we’re doing has a reason,” Wanderley-Britt said. “Instead of looking at our feet, kicking rocks, and saying ‘We’re supposed to be doing something else; we’re better than this; we don’t need to be here,’ maybe we need to embrace where we are. You give me your best, I support you where you need it. It’s just growing good people, and why not grow good people in a community like Ogden that already has so many?”
Part of the success of a place like WB’s, according to Wanderley-Britt, is not just the space it occupies but the idea behind that space: creativity – whether through art, music, food, or events – drives communities.
“You’re here, you’re an artist, you’re working, and you have a keycard with 24-hour access,” Wanderley-Britt said. “In the summer, once this community fills in, we’ll be open until midnight, seven days a week. We should be; artists gotta eat too!”