Beginning a new show here at the Muskegon Channel is always a proud moment for us, and it's even more exciting when the new show offers the kind of opportunity that Lunch Date With Mari does. When we look for content creators, we look for people who bring their passion to what we do. Nuts and bolts can be taught, and we even kind of prefer to teach them because we're a little less traditional about our approach to media. We'd much rather play the long game, develop talent and be an organic Muskegon entity than we would do it like everyone else does. When someone comes along that catches the vibe...we might ask if they would consider something they have never tried.
Marisela Sierra is the Owner of Navarro's Mexican Take Out here in Muskegon. That crucial moment came a little over a year ago when she and husband Felix had to decide to stay working in their jobs, or try to keep the family business going. They went all in on the family business and since, Mari and family have worked tirelessly to not only live up to the traditions her mother set forth, but to also share the experience out loud with others so they too could learn grow and collaborate to help foster a strong community based on cuisine in Muskegon. Mari is going to use her skills not only as a restaurant owner and manager to help share the stories of other entrepreneurs, she's going to help you see some of the collaborative work happening within their group to strengthen the entire industry. Why? Food attracts visitors.
Mari's first stop is at one of the Western Market Chalet's! Melt Gourmet Sandwiches is right on the corner of Western and First Street. The owners, Anthony Miller and Rachael Hill have deep roots in food service. Anthony first found himself at about 15 in the kitchen of the family business and Rachael began out front in the business. Not a bad combination to begin with but they do have a number of years, so the experience of the pair added up into all that was needed to begin on their own. It was a matter of that step. Working for others is one thing but finding the inner belief to take the chance and go all in is not for the faint of heart. It was that leap of faith that finally got them to go all in. Work is work and they are partners at home too. Both with aspirations to have the Muskegon based business and then to be able to spread their wings out a little with the ability to take their love of great food and fun on the road and see the world while spreading the gooey, melty love with their incredible cuisine.
Melt also has an incredible way of taking care of those who might otherwise go without. They have a program called Melt Away Hunger. If someone doesn't have the ability to pay and needs a hot meal, ther'e's an established fund that provides for them. Some have contributed by handing some change over, others have helped by contributing as friends. You can CLICK HERE to find the link to make a small donation. $2 buys a delicious grilled cheese. Fills someone up. What better way to pay it forward a little?
Anthony and Rachael are at the starting line of this business, but they also have gathered a little wisdom along the way. That's another great part of Mari sitting down to talk restaurant with other foodies, she speaks their language. It's an awesome debut and we're pretty proud to say that you are officially watching the launch of 2 new stars! One will fill your stomach with melted gourmet goodness and one will fill your head with insight, charm and a warm approach to communicating the trials and tribulations of a small business trying to sell some great eats. Take a listen!
So, what's next? You finding your way to Downtown Muskegon and getting your hooks on a Melt Gourmet Sandwich! The hours at the Western Market Chalet's are varied. They tend to focus more on the end of the week and the weekend and the easiest way to find out when Melt is open is to follow them on their social media outlets. You'll find their Facebook Page linked above for a hand there. Make sure you follow it. We hope that you enjoyed Mari's first visit with some of our culinary masters in town! Stay tuned for more right here on the Muskegon Channel and if you are in need of the best Mexican take out anywhere.... well, Navarro's would be the recommendation.