One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
The idea of dining well may not be as simplistic as having good food on the table; dining well can extend to everything from food storage to tableware to proper equipment and supplies to basic set up. And, when it comes to knowing what dining well looks like, there’s no one better to pave the way than Yes Chef Restaurant Equipment and Supplies.
Located in the heart of Oyster Point at the intersection of Canon and City Center boulevards, Yes Chef is the go-to place for food-service needs. Whether it’s large restaurant kitchen equipment, such as walk-in refrigerators, ranges, steamers and the like, or providing catering services to at-home chefs, Yes Chef is in the business of ensuring that people dine well.
Judy Pennino, owner of Yes Chef, started her business in July, working out of her home garage in Williamsburg. Before long, the company “started to blossom” and quickly outgrew the garage. “We needed somewhere large enough and central enough to cover all of Hampton Roads—Newport News, Williamsburg, Richmond and southwest Richmond—and we found the perfect place,” says Pennino.
Having been in the business for more than 20 years, Pennino learned and honed her craft from the ground up. She worked for a major distributor, where she started in purchasing, moved into sales and then took on a business development role. Within one month of leaving the distributor, Pennino started Yes Chef. “We’ve financed all of this ourselves, to be smart and stay on top of things,” Pennino says.
Though the word “foodie” has been used liberally to define anyone who enjoys food, Pennino embodies the term. Demonstrating a passion for all things food, Pennino thrives in the food industry business, reveling most in the time spent with customers. “Of everything I do, I like my customers the most,” says Pennino. “I’m very focused on them; I love helping them bring their vision to life. They are our priority!”
Yes Chef has been privileged to work with many businesses in the Hampton Roads area and beyond, including Schooner’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tucanos, Salsas, Jose Tequilas, Plaza Azteca, Kingsmill Resort, New York Deli, Fat Tuna Grill, Lynchburg College, Roanoke College and Virginia Tech.
In addition to providing restaurants with whatever equipment they might need, Pennino keeps on hand enough inventories to meet even the smallest of needs. “Locally, people will come in and pick up items such as bar blenders, reliable can openers, cutting boards, basic supplies and 16-ounce pint glasses. Whatever they need, I always have it on hand,” says Pennino.
In this business, Pennino says, “The menu drives the equipment. It’s our job to know what that menu is before we specify what the equipment needs are and the best way to meet those needs; it’s not just about making a sale. We want to help customers and show them their options, so they can make smart buying decisions. The buck stops here. We either help you or direct you to someone who can.”
One need only look on Yes Chef’s Facebook page to know how seriously Pennino takes her business. Customers have glowing comments: “The owner of this store is absolutely amazing…” “Looking forward to a long relationship with this company.” “Customer service on a scale of 1–10 was a 10 for sure.” “Good quality, great selection of wares and competitive prices. We changed over all of our plates in the restaurant, which was no easy task, and Judy was there every step of the process.”
When Pennino isn’t working with her customers, she spends time with
her three grown children, one of
whom works with her and is learning and loving the business right alongside her mom.
As Pennino says, “Food is my passion” and, clearly, Yes Chef Restaurant Equipment and Supplies is the fulfillment of that passion. Those who know kitchen etiquette know that when the chef requests something, the staff’s only response is Yes Chef. In her work, Judy Pennino asks her customers what they want, and her reply? Yes Chef!
TO THE POINT:
Yes Chef Restaurant Equipment and Supplies
Address: 11861 Canon Blvd., Ste. B, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Judy Pennino, owner