Michael Grantz

Sales & Marketing Manager

Michael's first taste of Europe was as a six month-old baby, when he moved from Florida to Germany, his mother's homeland. She witnessed the building of the Berlin Wall as a fifteen year-old. And together, nearly three decades later, they watched it's tear-down.

"I never understood the concept of being born, living and dying in the same 20 mile radius, because I was shown at a very young age that the world is obtainable."

After eighteen years in the restaurant industry, Michael's path in event management specifically began as Assistant Manager of Special Events at Atlanta's famous Fox Theatre, where he helped coordinate efforts for companies such as Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola, Marvel Studios, Lexus, and Facebook. He hosted many celebrities, politicians, CEOs...even the royal family of Qatar!

Michael's Intermezzo story.

"Café Intermezzo was introduced in me in the 90s, and from my first experience, has been one of my top five places to go in Atlanta. As a child it made me feel sophisticated and cultured. In my twenties, while on dates, it made me feel classy, intriguing and safe to be myself. In a way, I always felt that Café Intermezzo represented who I was as a person because it is welcoming to a variety of cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Café Intermezzo has always been special from the rich espresso in my cup, to the Japanese language tapes playing in the bathrooms."

"I am excited to be a part of Café Intermezzo because it feels like a family. I also am excited to be able to use my experiences in guest services in an environment that is as richly-cultured as the art on the wall. The drive to exceed customer expectations and provide a memorable experience is apparent in everyone I have worked with at Café Intermezzo. Guests celebrate a variety of moments in the various cafés around Atlanta, and because of that, Café Intermezzo is a part of the fabric of many Atlantans' lives. It is a part of the stories we tell our friends now, and it will be a part of the stories we tell twenty years from now. For me, it’s an honor to be a part of it."

Personal goal: To own a restaurant of his own one day (as he continues to carry out his long-held passion for cooking!)

 

Jay Clarke

Regional Manager

“I am constantly inspired by the romance of a restaurant, the symphony of it all. Great restaurants are the sum of dreams, passion and love,” Jay tells us.

His love for the restaurant industry has influenced every job he’s held. That passion was first ignited while still a young teen, when he began working in the Edelweiss lodge at Northern Michigan’s famed Caberfae ski resort. After later graduating from Michigan State, Jay was grateful to immediately join on with Houston’s, eventually working for the concept in Memphis, Atlanta, and Chicago. He said the experience was “an education in it’s own right.”

He delved into the European dining scene as Chef de Salle for the Atlanta Bar & Grill in Toulouse, France. His return to the states then brought him to Wolfgang Puck in both Los Angeles and Seattle.

“I have always been driven by curiosity and as a result have worked in very rich and diverse environments from an American restaurant in Toulouse to a cruise ship in Seattle. I was part of the team that got the boat afloat — a 180-foot super yacht. I was also part of the concept development team for Seasons 52 where I worked for 7 years.”

Jay pours his heart into his career, but enjoys that he can combine his many passions into each day.

“When I'm not with my family I'm reading, cooking, traveling or watching my teams (Sparty On!). Café Intermezzo is home for me because it combines so many things I love…food, coffee, art, music and people! Great offerings for all the senses wrapped up in such a beautiful package.”

P.S. - Take him on in a game of Scrabble, and you’re bound to be beat!

Favorite quote: “Nothing truly great in human history has ever been accomplished without enthusiastic effort.”

- Henry David Thoreau

Viola Butler

Payroll, Human Resources, Benefits

“When I came to the United States, I was desperately looking for a coffee that I was used to from back home,” Viola tells us. “The coffee culture runs deep in European cities.”

Viola grew up in Bratislava: the capitol of Slovakia, in the heart of Europe. Each and every day, she gazed at the nearby Bratislava castle, and spent time enjoying many of the 160 cafés situated within only a 3.7 square-mile radius.

“The first cafés in Bratislava date back as far as the first half of the 18th century, and played an important role in people's social, cultural, and business lives,” Viola explained. “It is the time you rest, relax, and enjoy all the wonderful coffee flavors, the ambiance of the place, soft music, warm service, the elegance with which coffee is being served.”

“Just about all of it…it’s a celebration of coffee and life itself. In many ways, Café Intermezzo reminds me of these moments and in many ways, Café Intermezzo is all of those moments.”

After earning her Master’s in Law at Tranava University, Viola worked as a Project Implementation Manager, coordinating the implementation of multi-million dollar optical fiber network projects overseas.

She later moved to the U.S., and joined the Café Intermezzo team in 2014.

“Ever since I stepped foot inside the restaurant, I knew I wanted to be part of it,” Viola told us.

Though her eyes were set on a corporate position, no openings were available at the time. So, she joined the kitchen staff.

“Six months later, I was transferred to the corporate office, which I came to call my ‘home away from home.’ The decor, statues, paintings, music - all of that reminds me of home.”

“I walk around the office and I see paintings similar to those my grandmother used to have at her home. I walk around the cafes and see statues and foundations that remind me of my countless strolls through historic centers of European cities. Not to mention, I once found a coffee can with the exact same design that my parents still have to this date at their house!”

Living so far from close family, Viola says the café has helped a little in filling what could feel like a void.

“I love the family feel of this company. It’s not only that you’re part of the team, it truly feels like you’re part of the family.”

Outside of (and occasionally, when we’re all lucky, inside!) the office, Viola spends quality time daily with her toddler, William. The age discrepancy is large, but their bond is tight.

“We both enjoy good music, mountain views, lakes, rivers, and sunset walks. Technology and computers is a must for both of us. We are big fans of classical music and operas and even bigger fans of anything related to dragons or Star Wars.”

Viola’s domain is payroll, Human Resources management, and employment law. In 2017, she received her FPC Certification from the American Payroll Association and is working towards her SHRM-CP Certification in HR management. She’s an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management American Payroll Associate and both of their respective local chapters.

Her European background naturally makes her thoughts regarding the feel of our establishment very highly-regarded.

“It’s truly a unique European Kaffeehaus with a 19th century feel. The ambiance of the cafés is remarkably reminiscent of true Viennese culture. Needless to say, when I finally stumbled upon Cafe Intermezzo, my first words were ‘I’m home,’ and I haven’t left since.”

Joy David

General Manager, Café Intermezzo at Avalon

Step foot into Café Intermezzo at Avalon, and you’re likely to be greeted with a huge smile from General Manager Joy David.

She’s brought an infectious energy and upbeat, can-do attitude since Avalon’s very first day, in December 2015. But long before joining our team, she spent her youth in Bangkok, Thailand: her homeland. There, she was inspired by the bustling street life, and enjoyed the culture and spices found in the open-air markets.

After moving to the United States and then graduating college, Joy gained quality, hands-on coffee shop experience in the Midwest. She was part of a team that opened and operated coffee shops in the Chicago region -- an experience in which she says she learned to love the “Windy City.”

Joy escaped the gusts and freezing winters for southern heat and humidity, when an opportunity arose to manage a top-volume store for a major national chain in Buckhead. There she remained for several years, earning multiple awards along the way.

And that is where Café Intermezzo entered the picture.

“I joined Café Intermezzo because I believe it is truly a unique coffeehouse with an emphasis on generous hospitality and an inviting European atmosphere. I am focused on making certain that our guests have an enjoyable visit each and every time.”

That mission, Joy certainly accomplishes.

In her spare time, she gardens, does yoga, goes shopping, and spends time with her husband and two children.

Favorite quote: "Love what you do and do what you love!"