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Chris Goss - Grass Roots Guidance From a Guy Who’s Been There

“If you believe work can be more than a job, that soulful service is about more than a meal, and that good work can be a principle centered life engagement then I would like to meet you.” This posting from the June 1990 Charleston (SC) Post & Courier classifieds marked the launch of Magnolias of Charleston, the restaurant I co-founded on the principles of soulful service and awakened hospitality. It is considered today a cornerstone of what led to the culinary renaissance of one of Americas most loved cities.

Over the next 27 years, the process of creating inspired workplace culture, soulful service, and awakened hospitality has been my life’s work. The profoundly simple, experimental practices, and caring values of Awakened Hospitality led me from Magnolias of Charleston to the creation of South City Kitchen in Midtown Atlanta. The success of South City Kitchen led to pioneering the West Midtown neighborhood with The Food Studio and Bold American Catering, the precursor to Fifth Group Restaurants owned by my former business partners. Standing on the shoulders of these successes I was fortunate to implement similar practices of hospitality leadership into Stowe Mountain Resort in the Green Mountains of Vermont. As a senior leader of the organization I played an integral role with a dynamic team to create the service culture, values and systems that supported a 12 year, $600 million development and renaissance of the legendary resort. This was further proof that Awakened Hospitality can be cultivated, provide value and bring to life the personality of a complex and multi-faceted mountain resort community.


I founded Awakened Hospitality as a vehicle to bring focused attention to hospitality organizations seeking similar transformational change.

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