Steve Feldmann: Gulu-Gulu Cafe and Flying Saucer Pizza Company
Tell us a bit about you and what you do?
I’m a bit of a nerd who has always had a deep love of the arts, music, and good food. My wife Marie and I started the Gulu oh so many years ago because we missed the kinds of relaxed cafes in Prague where we had met and we wanted to bring a little bit of that culture to the North Shore.
What part of your job would you consider creative, and why do you enjoy that part of what you do?
Every day my job changes – owning 3 very different restaurant concepts means that I have to wear many hats and sadly not everything I do is fun or creative (I’m looking at you Quickbooks!). However creating the space, helping to research bands, choosing the beers we should be featuring – all of this is extremely creative and fun.
How does your creative work contribute to the growth and stability of the Creative Economy? If this isn’t applicable: Why do you feel a healthy creative economy is important to a successful community?
My businesses have been pretty symbiotic with the Creative Economy since day one. For example at the Gulu we’ve strongly supported young artists and given them a place to showcase their work right from the beginning. In turn these same artists (and their friends, and their families) have helped to support the cafe and have helped it to grow over the past 12 years.
What’s your favorite part of running/managing a local business?
My favorite part of running a local business is the extended family we have created. We have had hundreds of people come through our doors as employees. For whatever reason we tend to have much less turnover than the industry average. It’s been amazing to watch kids right out of high school come to work for us and stay through their college years. There are employees that have met their significant others here and have gotten married and have had children. Our longest standing employee to date has been with us for 11 years! This just doesn’t happen in the restaurant industry. I think this really sets us apart.
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?
Considering I own the Gulu (long considered a haven for the artists and musicians in Salem) I don’t paint, I can’t play an instrument, and according to my wife I’m a pretty awful cook. 🙂
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