(By Sally Beane/Chewelah Independent)
Richmond says he kind of fell into the restaurant business…
Terry Richmond says he just kind of fell into the restaurant business. A 1987 graduate of Chewelah’s Jenkins High, Richmond’s first job was as a dishwasher at C.I. Shenanigans, Spokane. He heard about the opening from his brother, Tony, who at the time was kitchen manager at another Spokane restaurant.
Richmond said this began a succession of jobs that were either in restaurants or in food-related businesses, such as a stint he spent working for Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Food Market in LA.
How did he end up in Los Angeles?
“Well, Sally McQuain (now co-owner of Flowery Trail Coffeehouse) was a manager at Mrs. Gooch’s at the time, and her son Chris, who was a friend of mine in high school, also worked there,” Richmond explained.
“At Mrs. Gooch’s, I gained an appreciation for fresh and natural foods and ingredients, that carries over to this day, but I was a small-town boy and found LA overwhelming. I lasted about a year, then returned to Spokane,” Richmond said.
There he again worked for a series of restaurants, but most notably spent 10 years at Luigi’s, under the guidance of Culinary Institute of America – trained Chef Matt Pettit. Richmond says this is where he honed his cooking skills and developed a particular interest in Italian food.
He also cooked for Alterra Clare Bridge of Spokane, a memory care home. “It was so gratifying to cook for people whose meals were the highlight of their day,” Richmond said. He still finds that pleasing people, making them happy, is a large part of the gratification he gets from running a restaurant that people seem to like.
Following marriage and becoming a father, Richmond, as so many others who grew up here, wanted to give his children, Zach, Noah and Benjamin, a Chewelah childhood. Back in Stevens County, he worked for Papa Murphy’s in Colville for a time, then was food and beverage manager for 49 Degrees North, both lodge and learning center, and served as food and beverage manager at Chewelah Golf and Country Club.
The latter two positions meant organizing a lot of special events for people. “My name was getting out there,” Richmond said, “and when we opened Mondo’s in 2012, the response from the community was fantastic, a fact for which I am very grateful.”
There have been some bumps in the road along the way. The first to overcome was the fact that the road in front of Mondo’s was being replaced during the first year it was open. People had to park some distance away and walk on planks to get inside. But still they came.
In 2015, a family upset forced the closure of Mondo’s for five months, but to the relief of worried Mondo’s fans, the restaurant re-opened, still offering the same great cuisine.
Richmond stays true to the Italian theme, borrowing recipes from here, there and everywhere, he said, and adding his own touches. This summer, he plans to rely heavily on the local farmers market for fresh ingredients.
Terry Richmond may have “fallen” into the restaurant business, but many think that was a lucky fall for Chewelah. A sample of his talents will be served during Taste of Chewelah, Thursday, June 14, at Jeans Beans (former Paul’s Coffee) as the restaurant isn’t quite large enough to accommodate both their regular customers and the number of people who attend Taste.
Besides food tastes from community restaurants, Taste-goers will enjoy art displays, musicians and an art auction and raffle. Tickets are now on sale at Valley Drug