| Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer |
Ignacio was recognized by South Florida Business Leader Magazine as one of its “Top Movers and Shakers” in 2012, reflecting a career both diverse and successful at every milestone.
Ignacio joined Grove Bay Hospitality Group as a managing partner in 2014. From 2011 to 2014, he joined 50 Eggs Restaurant Group as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, where he managed all business functions of the 400-employee company, including negotiating and closing the $24-million sale of its Lime Fresh Mexican Grill division to Ruby Tuesday. He also negotiated development deals with the Sands Corp, and assisted in the development and operation of James Beard Award semi-finalists Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and Khong River House, among others.
Prior to joining 50 Eggs, he worked with the Ft. Lauderdale-based Shula’s Steak Houses for five years as Vice President of Finance, and was instrumental to the company’s sustained financial success. He became part owner of the Shula’s 347 Grill in Coral Gables, FL.
Before delving into the restaurant industry, Ignacio served as Audit Manager at the “Big Four” firm Deloitte & Touche, where he helped make a positive impact for clients such as Direct TV, Perry Ellis, Florida Power & Light, Elizabeth Arden, Baptist Health System and the Miami Dolphins. After leaving Deloitte & Touche, he worked at MasterCard as the Director of Accounting for the Latin America Region. In just one year, he helped put policies and controls in place that elevated the region from a last place ranking to second place in terms of its finance and internal controls.
Ignacio holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Florida, a Master of Accounting from Florida International University, and a Certificate of Foodservice Management from Cornell University. He also serves as Board Member – Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.
| Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer |
Since 2010, Francesco has co-owned and operated Shula’s 347 Grill in Coral Gables, Florida and the Corona Beach House restaurant in Miami International Airport. He also co-owned and managed two Lime Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants located in Downtown and Midtown Miami, which were later sold as part of a $24-million sale to Ruby Tuesdays.
During his time with Grove Bay, Francesco has worked closely with other restaurant brands providing consulting and administration services to clients like Sakaya Kitchen, Bulla Gastrobar and Novecento Restaurant Group. He was instrumental in winning a 50-year lease with the City of Miami for three restaurants, a marina, and retail space on a 7-acre waterfront property in Coconut Grove, currently known as the Charthouse and Scotty’s Landing property.
Before joining Grove Bay, Francesco served as a Manager for Ernst & Young’s Assurance Advisory and Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services department where he assisted clients such as DuPont, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Del Monte Foods, PNC Bank and Miami Air. After leaving the “Big Four” public accounting firm, he became the CFO and Vice President of Finance at Areas USA, Inc., an airport and turnpike concessions operator with over 125 points-of-sale across nine airports and two turnpikes. As the CFO and Vice President of Finance at Areas USA, Francesco oversaw 45 corporate personnel and helped generate over $220 million in annual sales.
Before leaving Areas USA in late 2009, Francesco assisted in winning the Florida Turnpike concession. Valued at over $6 billion, it was the largest turnpike concession contract in history.
Francesco holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida International University.
| Chief Operating Officer |
Eddie joined Grove Bay Hospitality Group as Chief Operating Officer in 2016. A veteran of the hospitality industry, he began his career in his hometown of Rincon, Puerto Rico at the renowned boutique hotel the Horned Dorset Primavera. Throughout his eleven year tenure, he apprenticed in all facets of upscale European hotel and restaurant operations.
Upon completing his University studies, he moved to New York City to serve as Director of Sales and Marketing for the resort and later served as a Sales Consultant to Relais & Chateau North America.
The emergence of a new craft beer and cocktail scene in New York City provided Eddie with the ideal platform to further his operational prowess, serving as an Independent Beverage Consultant to the city’s top restaurants, bars and nightclubs and later serving as Multi-Unit Operations Manager for the critically acclaimed restaurants Kuma Inn and Umi Nom.
In 2001, he relocated to Florida, first to work with James Beard Award-winning Norman Van Aken at his flagship restaurant located at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Lakes in Orlando and later to Miami where he joined 50 Eggs to lead in the creation of its fine dining operations.
During his tenure as Chief Operating Officer at 50 eggs, the company evolved into an award winning and nationally acclaimed multi-brand restaurant group, earning James Beard nominations for Yardbird Southern Table and Bar as well as Khong River House and named one of the “50 Coolest Restaurant Companies in the Land” by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. Other concepts developed during his term were Swine Southern Table and Bar, and most recently, the quick service restaurant Spring Chicken.
Eddie attended the University of Puerto Rico where he majored in Accounting & Marketing. He is also a First Level Cicerone, an avid craft beer aficionado, and has served as a Board Member for the Miami Chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.