Mici Handcrafted Italian, a family-owned four-unit fast casual chain based out of Denver, Colorado, welcomes local restaurant executive Elliot Schiffer as Partner and CEO.
The Miceli family currently operates the successful line of family friendly, affordable Italian eateries that focuses on authentic Italian recipes using natural, unprocessed, clean ingredients. Mici Handcrafted Italian has four locations in the Denver metro area: Downtown Denver, 7th and Colorado, Stapleton, and Highlands Ranch; all of which offer dine-in, delivery and catering.
Having just completed a Series A financing, under Schiffer’s leadership Mici expects to streamline operations and enhance their already stellar menu in preparation to expand further into Colorado and beyond.
“It has been my dream for a long time to help a concept in which I believe grow into a national, household brand,” says Schiffer. “I have been selective in the opportunities I pursued, and essentially have been waiting for Mici—and the Miceli Family—to come along. Company culture and integrity are hugely important to me, a tenet I learned from my mentor Richard Melman, and I have found those things in spades at Mici. And the food is the highest quality. I’m very fortunate to be joining forces with Jeff and his wonderful family to bring their already successful mix of quality, integrity and originality to more people.”
Schiffer, who earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has committed his career and education to the singular goal of growing a fast-casual restaurant chain.
He was previously Senior Vice President of Non-Traditional Development for Denver-based Smashburger, which owns and operates more than 350 outlets in 37 states and 9 countries. From 2014 to 2017, Schiffer developed 21 high revenue Smashburger locations in airports, casinos, and college campuses. He also ran Smashburger’s Real Estate Analytics, playing a major role in location selection for 25 corporate and 30 franchise restaurants per year.
Prior to Smashburger, Schiffer began his career under renowned restaurateur and mentor Richard Melman at Lettuce Entertain You [LEYE] in Chicago, where he helped develop the M Burger concept and was Manager at Papagus Greek Taverna, Osteria via Stato and the prominent Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab. Prior to LEYE, he worked as an Analyst in Consumer Packaged Goods for Deloitte and received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
In 2004, siblings Jeff, Michael and Kim Miceli opened the first Mici Handcrafted Italian in downtown Denver as a venue to showcase their family’s most beloved recipes. Since then, they have opened three additional locations, including their flagship store model in Stapleton.
Mici Handcrafted Italian has long been a favorite among families looking for quick, affordable and healthy dining options conveniently located in their neighborhoods. Says President and COO Jeff Miceli, “When Mici opened its doors thirteen years ago, we set out to build an affordable Italian restaurant that not only shared our treasured family recipes and passion for our Italian culture, but was also a place where other families could come together and make their own memories. Over the years, our customers have become part of our extended family. We’re excited to be growing that family again with the addition of Elliot to our team.”
Although the Miceli family has grown to include Schiffer, customers can still expect to dine on their favorite dishes—made with the same exceptional ingredients—that have been in the Miceli family for generations. Tortellini alla Miceli, the DiGirolomo and Pina pizzas, father Jerry’s Marinara, Alfredo, Cortonese, Meatballs, House-made Sausage, Italian Dressing and several other items from the menu are passed down from family.
“We’ve been approached by potential partners over the years,“ says Miceli of his family’s popular eatery. “But until Elliot, none shared our commitment to running a business with kindness and respect, while maintaining food quality, which translates to happy customers who we consider part of our extended family.”