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Customer Profiles

Home Republic Brewing Co.

Former Marine Joe Curtis and his wife, Barbara, wanted to open a restaurant with home-cooked food and home-brewed beers. We spoke with Barbara about how innovation has been key to Home Republic Brewing Co.'s success.

  • July 02, 2019

If you had to describe Home Republic in a few words, what would you say?

We’re a local, veteran-owned brewpub serving innovative craft beer and American food, with a focus on customer service.

How does Home Republic fit into the Virginia Beach dining scene?

We were the first locally owned brewpub in the area, so we helped shepherd in the era of brewing your own beer on site and serving it with great food.

What are some of your signature dishes?

Our beer burgers are probably the most popular items. We make them by adding beer right into the patties, which gives them a hoppy flavor and keeps the meat nice and juicy. Our Extra Smokey Burger with Gouda cream, applewood bacon and smokey guacamole is also very big with guests. Recently, we’ve added street tacos with pork, chicken or shrimp to the menu. We try to have a bit more variety than just pub fare, too. Our Blackened Tuna Bites With Wasabi Aioli are an alternative to some of the carb-heavy items.

How has Sysco been a key partner in your success?

The majority of our menu is driven by consultations with our amazing Marketing Associate, Jacqui Renager. We are fortunate that Jacqui has a chef background; she knows how to speak the language and has really taught our kitchen staff about the business side of things. Along with Jacqui, I have to credit our General Manager, Nick Mariano, and our Kitchen Manager, Evan Conley, with transforming the culinary offerings at Home Republic. They’ve helped us recognize that our food needs to be as innovative as our beer. People are coming in for our unusual beers, like the Salted Caramel Ale, and they want food to match that. Nick and Evan have done market research on what menu items are hot and brought those in. It’s been incredible to watch them grow as individuals and watch the business become more successful because of their ideas and their willingness to put them into action.

They have also taken the lead in utilizing the services that Sysco offers, including business reviews, menu ideation and cost analysis—they’ve even been involved with implementing online ordering. And we’ve seen some huge revenue increases because of all that. It’s been a great partnership, from soup to nuts.

Because of our increase in revenue from working with Sysco, we are now thinking about expansion opportunities.

Barbara Curtis, Owner

How much has your revenue grown?

Since we started working with Jacqui last fall, we have seen a 21 percent increase in revenue. It’s a testament to our staff, to Sysco, to Jacqui—and when you see those numbers, you want that story to be told.

What are your plans for the future?

We are coming up on our five-year anniversary. Because of our increase in revenue from working with Sysco, we are now thinking about expansion opportunities.