Northshore Magazine

July 2012

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 76 of 155

ne Business With no experience as restaurateurs, but Flatbread Company's Amesbury location. The Restaurateur Gould at the plenty of gumption, they opened the first Flatbread Company in Amesbury in 1998. "It was a godsend that we didn't have [busi- ness] experience," said Meehan, explaining that he and Gould didn't look at books, but rather considered how they wanted to ex- perience Flatbread Company as customers. And their personalities work well together, as each brings different yet complementary qualities to management. Meehan calls Gould the conscience of the company, and Gould insists that Meehan does all the work. Like seeing a great wave coming at them, they jumped in knowing that, successful or not, the ride would teach them something. Not everyone was as convinced. New restaurants are notoriously risky, and Flatbread Company serves flatbreads and organic salads and little else, save for a couple of desserts. "My dad called it the Titanic," says Gould of his late father's feeling that the business wouldn't make it, noting that the elder Gould did eventu- ally change his mind. Fourteen years later, Flatbread Company operates 10 restau- rants with locations in Portsmouth and North Conway, New Hampshire; Portland, Maine; Somerville, Canton, Martha's Vineyard, Amesbury, and Burlington, Massachusetts; Whistler, British Colum- bia, Canada; and even Paia, Maui. "I have been accused of putting restaurants in places I like to go," says Gould with a grin. A Hampton, New Hampshire, restaurant is set to open this summer and a Providence, Rhode Island, one is next, says Gould. Far from a hindrance, Gould says the restaurants' specialized menu instead offers freedom. What Flatbread Company does it does well, says Gould, and that is what makes customers return. Food, plus The Portfolio 74 July 2012 Headquarters: North Hampton, NH. Num- ber of Restaurants: 10. Year Founded: 1998. Employees: approximately 450. Owners: Jay Gould and John Meehan. Contact: 603-926-9401 (headquarters).

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