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Why Humble Joes? | Humble Joes
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Why Humble Joes?

My Dining Segment – The competition in our segment is going to new lows in quality, serving wafer thin bacon, what I call bologna ham, soy filled burgers in order to compete with fast food slurry burgers, plastic tasting pre-cooked turkey breast and steaks that have been chemically tenderized just to make them chewable, forget about taste. They have cooks called assemblers because they can’t cook unless given specifics of how many seconds to put on the microwave! We have real food, real cooks and real servers, some of whom have been with us for twenty years!

Dining In General – The dining market place is changing constantly and quickly. With the profusion of cooking shows, recipe books and keen interest in diet and health we are being introduced to new flavors and food fusions every day and yet the great old time favorites keep their appeal. People are getting sophisticated very fast and they know quality matters. For this reason we are proud of our new affiliation with Certified Angus Beef. The Certified Angus Beef brand is the finest beef available. Uncompromising standards ensure less than 8% of beef is accepted. They are chosen for their superior marbling, then specially aged so they never need added tenderizers that compromise taste and natural texture.  We see a fabulous future in offering more great steaks, chops and traditional chophouse features at affordable prices. The secret to success in our family dining segment is balance. Balance of new and  fresh, with traditional while increasing quality and healthiness at every opportunity all while keeping the price affordable for frequent family dining.

We’re proud and excited to bring you a new local customer inspired dining experience and invite you to join us as we grow a new presence in Shasta county.

Why Joe’s – I’ve had a lot of good training from some very good chefs over the years. I started washing dishes in Redding for what was then the Hilton Inn in Redding on Hilltop drive. My neighbor, who was the chef at the Hilton saw me doing my usual slave labor when I was 16 in my family’s garden. He asked if I wanted a job and I said sure, its about time someone paid me. He trained me to do food prep after breaking me in on piles of dishes, pots and pans. I never looked back. A few years later I went to work for my uncle in New York and had some very good training with a very hard working and talented French Chef named Andre Mignier. He and I got along very well, I think it was the last name for him but he liked my work ethic and took me under his wing. I’ve always enjoyed the Joe’s restaurants in the bay area, Stockton and Sacramento. A chef I worked and trained with was a chef for various Joe’s restaurants in the Bay area and wanted to open a Shasta Joe’s in the Redding area. It never transpired but the name and the idea always stuck with me. Many of the specials and menu ideas I now have come from my training and exposure to the Joe’s menu. They are a nice mix of Italian Food, Steaks, Seafood and good old fashioned daily favorites produced by real chefs. The food is about the flavor. Fresh ingredients, real butter, good cooks and lively sautes.  I always thought I could incorporate some of the good old fashioned cooking they did at Joe’s. Our pastas, and one dish wonders are inspired by my Joe’s Chef training. I never liked the idea of naming a restaurant (or even my son) after me so chef Joe was born.

Why Humble Joe’s? – Coming up with a name, an identity and a logo for a restaurant while being bombarded in today’s high powered marketing schemes is daunting. Everyone claims to be “Famous” or the “Greatest”. The public, of which I are one, is bored with the hype. Its like we’ve heard it all before and now we’re immune.  That’s why I chose Humble for Joe’s. Its different than everyone else. It gives Joe a character that we can build on that doesn’t sound like everybody else. Humble doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, it means you think of yourself less.  A humble person can be the most famous or the world’s greatest but he’d rather talk about you!  So Joe is the perfect host.  He’s a great cook but he doesn’t’ take himself too seriously.  He has a good sense of humor but it’s usually at his own expense.  He’s diligent and hard working but loves being part of a great team. Technically Joe is my alter ego. For all intents and purposes I am the executive chef for Humble Joes but I cant just be the chef. Some days I long for the times I could just work with the food. I’m not particularly humble around my employees but with customers I know who’s in the drivers seat. I’m stressed and frustrated by this business one minute and couldn’t imagine life without it the next. I’m involved in every aspect of this business and quite frankly there’s not too many people that can do what I do. If you are a player/coach/owner of your own business and have 75 teammates then you get the gist of it.

Whats a Chophouse?–  People want to know what a Chophouse is and before I did some research I thought it was a fine steakhouse. Expensive décor, prime steaks and 1000 bottle wine cellars. Then I looked it up and found out at the turn of the 20th century a chophouse was merely a diner that specialized in meat entrees. Well that’s every American Diners specialty. The term was lost and started to be used lately by upscale steakhouses as a way of cutely understating their elegance. Kind of like Mustards Grill in Napa calling itself a truckstop! Cute but not even close. My exposure to the Certified Angus Beef Brand through a good friend and past manager of mine made the reality of excellent quality beef at an affordable price an aha moment. It fit my segment in price and yet took it to a new level of quality. With the new trend in the term chophouse now my customers would know we pride ourselves on our fine choice of steaks, chops and meat entrees. What we always misunderstood at the coffeeshop level was just offering any steak at a good price was a losers game. Theres always cheap meat available but building a reputation for great steaks takes commitment. You don’t take chances on cheap. The public sometimes think they want cheap and sometimes the cut will be surprisingly edible but more often than not it was exactly what they paid for!

Story – I once had a couple of my managers go try one of the competitions cheap steak breakfasts and report back. They were recognized by their server and told when they ordered it that they wouldn’t like it!! My managers insisted cause that was the mission but then the manager came out and told them they wouldn’t be happy. He was right. So, the competition didn’t want to be embarrassed by their woeful steak but if it was John Q. Citizen they would have been happy to stand by it. They’re still advertising them so they’re still using the price to bring people in. You can fool every one once but why? People walk away saying to themselves well that’s what I get for buying cheap and they don’t blame the restaurant. I would rather have the person say well, now I know where to go when I want a great steak at a fair price. One walks away full thinkin I could have eaten shoe leather for all I know and the other is full saying damn that was a fine steak. One eats food to keep from dying and the other eats food to die for. One is living and the other isn’t dying.