During recent months, you may have noticed something big is taking form in the new Olympic Towne Center in Gig Harbor. Known only as the Building E (an official name has yet to be released), visionary Troy Alstead has exciting plans for the South Sound. Ten years in the making, Alstead and his team are bringing a new destination for dining and social experiences to the community. The facility, projected to open in November or December of this year, will be a world-class sustainably built collective gathering destination unlike any other. The restaurant will offer fresh-from-scratch, sustainable farm-to-table cuisine and handcrafted drinks and offer a variety of dining areas to make it the perfect stop for any occasion. Featuring a chef’s counter, social bar, private dining room and a coffee café, the culinary team will source ingredients from the most ethical and responsible sources they can find including local farmers, fishermen, ranchers, brewers and distillers. Social experiences will include activities for all ages, including duckpin and 10-pin bowling, a laser challenge arena and more.
Let’s discover more about the man behind the vision and what inspired this project.
Q. What inspired you to go into the field you are in?
A. I have always loved business. The idea that commerce and trade, done ethically and responsibly, can create jobs, help people provide for their families, add texture to communities, and even bring resources to bear on critical social and environmental issues, has enticed me since I decided to major in business in college.
Q. Who has been the biggest influence in your professional life?
A. I am fortunate to have had many people in my life to learn from over the years—from my wife and kids, to my parents and family growing up, to mentors and colleagues in my professional career. From so many people, I have learned the importance of personal growth and development, the value of people and the need for servant leadership. I have experienced the energy that comes from innovating and creating to building high-performing teams and successful businesses. And I have learned the imperative of giving back to the community and to the world.
Q. How did you get your start and who, if anyone, helped you on the journey to opening your own business?
A. I began my business career right after graduating from UW, working for a couple different companies before joining Starbucks in the early days. Over the years, there have been many mentors and colleagues (too many to name individually) who I have learned from, who have contributed to my growth and who have prepared me for this next step of opening my new business.
Q. Why did you choose Gig Harbor as the place to start your business?
A. The South Sound is a beautiful, vibrant, growing region. Long-timers are appreciating more than ever that they live here, and newcomers are discovering what makes this area so special. Businesses from this area are growing, businesses from other areas are opening and new businesses are forming. And with that growth, people want more choices for dining, for entertainment, for social activities and experiences; choices that complement the great restaurants and activities that are already here; choices that contribute to the community and environment; and choices that entice them to keep their spending in the South Sound. This is why I chose Gig Harbor and the South Sound for this first flagship location.
Q. Personally and professionally, how would you like to impact your community?
A. My goal is to create something exciting, fun and meaningful in the South Sound; a business that contributes to the community by being a great place to work and a great place to visit, have fun and socialize. A flagship location that is successful as a business and uses that platform to raise awareness of the environmental challenges that threaten Gig Harbor, Puget Sound and the oceans. And, a business that engages in the community through service.
Q. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to open their own business?
A. I first had the idea of this new concept 10 years ago. I developed the initial business plan while staying in a temporary rented apartment in Shanghai. Over the subsequent years, many roadblocks and challenges and enticements came along that might have derailed the project, including a Great Recession, development and construction delays, and promotions in my corporate career. Despite all those challenges and all those incentives to go a different direction, we are now on the verge of opening the business.
So, my advice to others: Never Quit. If what you are dreaming about is the right thing for you and your family and community, whether that dream is starting a new business or a nonprofit or something else, then overcome whatever challenges you might face.
5268 Point Fosdick Drive NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335