Episode #36: Husband and Wife Duo Build Incredible Restaurant: Christine and Nick Kondra
Super excited to share my conversation with Christine Doherty Kondra and her husband, Nick Kondra: the two co-founders of Cornerstone Restaurant located right in the heart of Wayne, Pennsylvania. If you live in the Philadelphia area, I encourage you to check out the fine dining experience that Christine and Nick have built — I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Throughout our conversation, Christine takes us on her life journey, as Nick chimes in to add color to stories. She tells us all about life before Cornerstone. Although she ideally wanted to pursue her passion for food immediately after college by attending the French Cullinary Institute, she couldn’t give up an incredible job offer in the pharmaceutical industry. So for the next 10 years, Christine climbed the ladder in the corporate world, working in New York, Boston, and London. And then at the age of 30 in 2009, she decided to quit her job and finally follow her passion — she reinvented herself and became a renowned chef on Nantucket and opened her very own business called the ACK experience.
Christine’s years in Nantucket were formative. Not only did she meet her husband Nick, but she also developed incredibly strong relationships with chefs and farmers – and those relationships are now valuable assets to continued success at Cornerstone today. In 2013, Christine and Nick decided to move back to Philadelphia. Although they had plans in the future to eventually open a restaurant, they didn’t think it would happen as quickly as it did. Then in 2014, a friend called them and told them that a prime space was available right in the heart of the mainline of Philadelphia. Christine and Nick jumped on the opportunity, took a risk, and opened Cornerstone Restaurant in 2015 where they curate distinctive menus, highlighting fresh, local, and globally sourced ingredients.
I promise you will not be disappointed with your meal. I went there with my family on a Friday night just about a month ago and it was the perfect atmosphere and meal after a long day of work! Over the past three years, Cornerstone has had tremendous success — so much that they just expanded this past March, opening a brand new bar and seating area. They are open 10 AM to midnight Tuesday through Saturday and 9 AM to 4 PM on Sundays. Hope you guys enjoy my conversation with Christine and Nick as much as I did!