VOLUME 18, NUMBER 52
DAILY EDITION: http//www.rbjdaily.com
MARCH 28, 2003
By KATHY QUINN THOMAS
When the local Perkins Restaurant
& Bakery sites closed in bank-
ruptcy in 1999, children mourned
the loss of their hot chocolate, bear pan-
cakes and chicken nuggets.
And area seniors wondered if they would
ever again drink a Bottomless Pot of Cof-
fee or eat a Granny’s Country Omelette.
In 2000, however, Philip Gelsomino II and
his partners in the Restaurant Group LLC
brought the chain and its menu back. The group
now has seven Perkins locations, including
three in Monroe County—Chili Avenue, Jef-
ferson Road and Fairport Nine Mile Point
Road. A site in Victor recently was approved.
As CEO, Gelsomino oversees site selec-
tion and construction of the restaurants along
with daily operations. The group employs
some 700 workers, roughly 100 per store,
with total annual revenues of $16.5 million.
“Back in 2000, John Buttrill called me
up and said, ‘I miss Perkins, I want to bring
it back. Would you help me find some in-
vestors?’” says Gelsomino, 38.
Gelsomino had been a CPA for 15 years
and owned Gelsomino and Co.
“I said no. My daughter was just born
and I wanted to quiet down a bit,” he says.
Buttrill, founder and managing direc-
tor of Buttrill & Associates, a f inancial
services f irm, persistently pursued Gel-
somino for the next month.
“Finally he annoyed me to the point where
I met with him,” Gelsomino says. “I looked
at his business plan and I thought, ‘Wow, this
is really too interesting for me to pass up.’
“Never mind investors, I wanted to do
this with them myself.”
The partners of the Restaurant Group, a
Perkins franchise company, include But-
trill and Harris Rusitzky. Rusitzky found-
ed the Rochester-based Serv-Rite Food Ser-
vice Corp., which became a multimillion-
dollar operation. The Restaurant Group’s
offices are in Calkins Road Office Park.
Nationally, Perkins is owned by the
Restaurant Co. in Memphis. It owns and
operates 154 Perkins and has 345 fran-
chised restaurants. Systemwide r