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Family Owned Business Awards

SoDel Concepts

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Founded: 2002

Generations: Two

Employees: 1,024

LEWES – SoDel Concepts has always been about family, chosen or by blood. Scott Kammerer wants to continue building on top of that foundation.

“I think in the last seven years we’ve done a great job of incorporating people in the restaurant family, and they really go far. So many of us have worked together for so long it feels like we’re all in this as one,” he said.

SoDel Concepts was launched by Matt Haley with Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar in 2002. Throughout the years, the business grew to seven restaurants and Kammerer was brought on first as director of operations and later president. Today, Kammerer’s wife, Lisa, designs the new restaurants. The couple’s sons are still involved in the enterprise: Griffin, 25, works in IT; Holden, 22, is an assistant manager at Bluecoast Bethany; and Carson, 17, is an oyster shucker.

“Sometimes, I feel like my immediate family members have a harder road because the bar is set so high,” Kammerer said. “But you start to see them invested in the business too and their feedback on anything –  from a crack in the floor to warm washing dishes –  is really valuable and I don’t think a lot of business owners get.”

Another bedrock of SoDel Concepts was charitable giving, starting from the Global Delaware Fund in 2010. That fund was created to deliver goods and services to at-risk children and to those in distressing situations, locally and internationally. SoDel Cares carries on the charity mission today at local organizations.

In 2020, when other restaurants were struggling, SoDel Concepts decided to double down on its charitable mission. In April, the restaurant group donated all its proceeds to Beebe Healthcare and later on donated $101,000 to local organizations instead of keeping the proceeds.

“Anybody can donate in good times, but it’s when you’re in your difficult times you put your highest value pieces on the table,” Kammerer said. “Our guiding principle has been cooking beautiful simple food and developing the people we work with to make the world a better place. Thinking about that, it made the decision easy to keep on going.”

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