A group of Bartlett entrepreneurs will take over the Moma’s B-B-Q location on Stage Road with a restaurant concept that will feature breakfast in the mornings and Chef Flavas food creations for lunch and dinner.
Partners John Sykes, Jake Farley and his father, Austin Farley, will take over the Moma’s location and call the business Bartlett Breakfast Factory.
The restaurant will provide a full breakfast menu from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., seven days a week, then transition to the lunch and dinner business.
Chef Chris Moore, the man behind Chef Flavas Spinach Artichoke Dip now sold in Walmart, Superlo and Cash Saver stores, will run the afternoon and dinner restaurant, with his signature dip being a fixture in many of the recipes.
Moore said he will offer salads, egg rolls, several pasta dishes, stuffed jalapenos, wraps, dishes with his spinach artichoke dip mixed with steak, shrimp and chicken, and daily specials created with his dip being an ingredient.
Jake Farley’s favorite meal has always been breakfast and he cooks breakfast for dinner three nights a week. He was looking for an opportunity to open a breakfast place when he noticed the “for lease” sign in Moma’s window.
“That’s how it all started,” Austin Farley said.
Moma’s was owned and operated by Kenny Gieger and Danny Benton for 38 years before they sold it two years ago. The new owners closed it temporarily a couple of months ago, but did not reopen.
“It’s going to be our goal to win those customers back. We think the food will be as good or better, but that’s for the clientele to determine,” Sykes said. “A lot of why they enjoyed the place is the atmosphere and what comes with that. It comes with the personalities behind the desk. It comes with the people making the food. As much as they wanted to eat in there, they wanted to come and visit … we want to create that family atmosphere again that was in there.”
All three of the partners have deep Bartlett ties and other business ventures.
Jake Farley went to EMT school after graduating from Bartlett High School in 2012, then went to work for Sykes at HCT Ambulance off Shelby Street. HCT, or Health Care Transport Ambulance, does transportation for dialysis patients exclusively, not any emergency transports or transfers.
After working there three years, Jake Farley decided to open his own ambulance service in 2017 when Sykes moved out of the building, and he kept the business at the same location. He operated about 20 ambulances there for dialysis patients.
“I sold it in March, but we still have an office on Shelby Street,” Jake Farley said.
Sykes and the Farleys then purchased the Nonna Maria restaurant at 6525 Memphis-Arlington Road across the street from the Neighborhood Walmart in May. It was formerly called Milano’s Pizza and run by Vito Daniele and his family, who purchased the original Dino’s Pizza in Raleigh years ago and renamed it Milano’s.
“We kept the recipes the same. Everything’s the same minus new ownership, tables and floors,” Jake Farley said.
They remodeled, but the Dino’s sign remains in the restaurant and always will, as a tribute to the heritage and history of the restaurant.
Sykes said they’ve made minor changes at Nonna Maria, tweaking a recipe here and there to improve the taste and making their own cheesecakes and other items in-house, for example.
“We’re trying to provide more of a dining experience where people want to bring in their family and sit at a big table, as opposed to the small, old-school pizza booths,” Sykes said. “When we got here it was probably 90 percent carry out, 10 percent dine in. It’s slowly turning around and is probably about 70-30 now.”
The new owners are adamant about community outreach, which is something that patrons at Bartlett Breakfast Factory can expect to see.
On Mondays, Nonna Maria offers all first responders and their family members 50 percent off their orders. On Tuesdays, anyone who works in a public or private school system, from maintenance staff to teachers to coaches, gets 50 percent off.
“Just to show them appreciation,” Sykes said.
And the restaurant is working to start a program with Bartlett City Schools to provide teachers, every semester, 30 coupons for a free slice of pizza that they can use to reward students for whatever reason the teachers want, from school work to good behavior to doing good deeds.
“It goes all the way to the top, where everyone in the school system contributes to students’ success,” said Sykes, whose parents both worked in Bartlett and other local school systems. “If we can do a little something to reward them, it can go a long way.”
Sykes said he is open to additional community outreach ideas and encourages people in Bartlett to call him at 901-569-2273 with their ideas.
Jake Farley and Sykes also have a mechanical contracting business with partner Nic Joyner called Mech-Tech that does HVAC work.
“It’s all about building Bartlett businesses,” Austin Farley said. “We’re all invested in Bartlett. This is the destination. It’s not the journey, it’s the destination.”