Crummer Alums Opening Bricks & Bowls Winter Park Location Across From Campus

johnny nartowicz
Johnny Nartowicz

When Johnny Nartowicz ‘18 ‘19MBA and Colton O’Dwyer ‘19MBA were placed in the same cohort in Crummer, they had no way of knowing the successful business relationship that was to come. Johnny had gone to Rollins as an undergrad where he played soccer and heard his teammates telling him how excellent the education at Crummer was and how they were making important community connections. He enrolled in Crummer at the same time as Colton, who had gone to UCF as an undergrad but wanted something more intimate when it came to time get his MBA.  

On their initial day of class in January, Johnny and Colton were the first two people to show up to class, 20 minutes early and ready to go. They started chatting and ended up getting paired in the same group. They would then spend the next year and a half doing every single project together and learning each other’s work styles and habits. “Working together like that, you can see how someone is going to be in business,” Johnny said. Three months after graduation, Johnny came up with the idea of Ghost Kitchen Orlando—a restaurant with no customer-facing front, just a kitchen that focuses on delivery—and he knew the perfect partner to start it with. 

colton o'dwyer
Colton O’Dwyer

Ghost Kitchen Orlando opened in October of 2019, and a few months later when COVID hit, they really found some traction for their operation. It also didn’t hurt that four months in, they were contacted by representatives for the NBA and ended up feeding four to five NBA teams, their main one being the Toronto Raptors. Then the lunch business took off and so did corporate catering. Fast forward two-and-a-half years later when an opportunity presented itself to have a customer-facing location in the Mall at Millenia. Having a name with “ghost kitchen” no longer worked for this venture, so they came up with Bricks & Bowls. 

For this restaurant concept, they would focus on signature and customizable salad bowls as well as artisan sandwiches or “bricks.” Everything is scratch-made from the focaccia bread used for the sandwiches to the sauces and dressings used in the salads. They also have a focus on super foods, with over 30 selections available, leading to millions of salad combinations. Johnny’s time eating healthy during his soccer days stuck with him and led to the emphasis on eating nutritious food to fuel the body. But they have a wide variety of customers in mind. “The thick focaccia sandwiches meet the needs of someone looking for something more indulgent,” Colton said.   

bricks & bowlsJohnny and Colton were again met with success at Millenia, and they knew the next place they wanted to go. “We both love Winter Park,” Johnny said. “I had moved back to the Winter Park area and one day saw a ‘for lease’ sign at a storefront right across from campus.” It seemed meant to be. This location, 331 South Park Avenue Unit B, will have some different offerings including beer, wine, seltzer, and focaccia pizza. It will also have a 1,600-foot courtyard with market lights and umbrella seating. “We are treating this as a flagship store. The food court is a little restrictive. It’s like a homecoming for us.” Johnny said. Colton agreed: “There are a lot of tourists in the Mall at Millenia who aren’t repeat customers. We are passionate about having Winter Park as a hub for our customer base and getting to build our brand there.”  

The days of getting their MBAs may be behind them, but Johnny and Colton still use many of the lessons they were taught at Crummer today. Colton emphasized how well rounded he ended up being: “At Crummer, you are forced to do everything (management, logistics, accounting…), and that’s the way it is when you are an entrepreneur. It’s always on you at every moment.” While Johnny is reminded of the teamwork element of their classes: “A large portion of the work at Crummer was team focused, and everything in our business is that way too. It primes you.” As they’ve grown with their concepts, so have their teams. Johnny and Colton focus on constant communication and checking in. They’ve gotten good at divvying up tasks and sharing responsibilities. Johnny also discussed the importance of problem solving: “We’ve had all kinds of things happen like supplier issues, sourcing problems, and marketing challenges. Like in school, it isn’t just focused on one topic, you get involved with a lot and have to think about the big picture.”  

The future looks bright for this duo. “We have three different business models running, but this feels like a homerun,” Johnny said. Having a healthy restaurant with indulgent options meets a variety of customer wishes while the emphasis on high-quality ingredients at a reasonable price is something everyone can enjoy. The team is excited to be one of the few quick-service options on Park Avenue. But their dreams don’t stop there. “We have a goal of having many different locations,” Colton said. “We want to be the next healthy, yummy, quick service brand. We have plans to grow.”  

One great benefit for the Rollins community? Bricks & Bowls will be offering a 10% discount with a valid Rollins ID, and they will also be accepting R-card as payment. They plan to open some time during the first two weeks of May and will offer a variety of options to order including in store, online, and through delivery apps. Follow them on social media to learn more about their happy hour specials and rewards program.  

Johnny Nartowicz and Colton O’Dwyer, both alumni of the Crummer Graduate School of Business, have successfully translated their educational experiences into real-world entrepreneurial success with their ventures Ghost Kitchen Orlando and Bricks & Bowls. Leveraging the comprehensive business skills and teamwork strategies they honed at Crummer, they have not only adapted to market demands but also expanded their offerings to cater to a diverse customer base, focusing on high-quality, nutritious food options. With plans for further expansion and a commitment to community engagement, Johnny and Colton’s business journey demonstrates the tangible impact of a solid MBA foundation, highlighting their potential for significant growth in the competitive restaurant industry. 


Want to learn about Crummer’s MBAs and ignite your career like Johnny and Colton? Come to one of our upcoming events in person or online. See them all here.