Owner and director of catering
Nancy’s Bar-B-Q, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch
Barbecue is big business for Nancy Krohngold. She opened Nancy’s Bar-B-Q in downtown Sarasota in 2011. “It’s prospered since the day I opened the doors downtown,” she says. Krohngold is the owner-operator of the business and has a couple of minority silent partners. She recently opened Nancy’s Pantry on Lakewood Ranch Main Street in the former Li’l Nancy’s at the Ranch location. Nancy’s Pantry is a cold grab-and-go market that aims to capitalize on consumers’ desire for convenience. “Grab and go is burgeoning — that’s no secret,” she says. Krohngold has a third location at State Road 70 and Lorraine Road in Lakewood Ranch that opened this summer. Catering is also a big part of the business and part of the company’s roots. Krohngold catered for seven years before she opened her first brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Krohngold has seen an increase in catering, with many orders coming from the growing Lakewood Ranch area. That demonstration of demand factored into her decision to open her larger Lakewood Ranch restaurant. “The whole area surrounding Lakewood Ranch is booming and underserved by restaurants,” she says. “I want to capitalize on that.” Krohngold’s downtown Sarasota location continues to do well, too. “We still have a line, sometimes to the door, every single day at lunch time,” she says. Because of a new development in the works that will encompass the downtown Nancy’s site, she’ll have to move. As of now, her lease ends in 13 months. “The plan is to find something else as close to that location as I can that will work for us and our customers,” she says. “With barbecue, there’s the additional hurdle of a space that can accommodate a big smoker.” Overall in 2019, she says Nancy’s growth momentum increased, and she’s positive about the future. “We’re so lucky there are lots of people in this community who eat out all the time,” she says. “I’m hearing from other people it’s going to be a big season — a blockbuster season.”
The biggest challenge, according to Krohngold, isn’t just a Nancy’s Bar-B-Q challenge, it’s employer-wide — staffing. It’s hard to find quality people who enjoy doing the job and can represent the brand well, she says. “It’s a very tough job market out there.” She uses recruitment websites and Facebook, although she says the best way to find employees is word of mouth and networking. “It’s usually a good hire when someone who works for you brings someone else in.”