Posted Thursday December 6, 2018


Fat Sparrow Group spreads its wings into St. Jacobs with purchase of Stone Crock Inc.

Fat Sparrow Group, with its four uptown Waterloo restaurants: Uptown 21, Taco Farm, Marbles, and Harmony Lunch, is thrilled to announce it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Stone Crock Inc. of St. Jacobs in a deal that close d December 5, 2018.

The Stone Crock Inc. was founded by entrepreneur Milo Shantz and his wife Laura in 1975. Today the company includes Jacob's Grill, Stone Crock Meats and Cheese, Stone Crock Bakery, Stone Crock Restaurant, St. Jacobs Catering, Salad Division, Meeting/Banquet Rooms, and operates three booths at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ market.

Known for its home - style cooking and hospitality, Stone Crock has been a St. Jacobs landmar k and destination for locals and tourists alike for over 40 years. Sandra Shantz, who has been overseeing the family - run business since the 1990s and will stay on with the company says, “In Fat Sparrow, we have found a perfectly suited successor for our bu siness. They bring both passion and respect for Waterloo region’s culinary scene to the table, and I’m confident our customers and employees will be in very capable hands.”

“We have enjoyed great success in Uptown Waterloo with our current portfolio of res taurants,” says Chef Nick Benninger, who along with his wife Natalie, and their business partners own and operate Fat Sparrow restaurants. “We’re really excited to be part of St. Jacobs now as it continues to grow and prosper.”

For the Benningers this move is a homecoming of sorts. Both Nick and Natalie previously worked at Benjamin’s Restaurant earlier in their careers when it was owned and operated by Stone Crock and credit this time for inspiring their enduring philosophy to support local farmers and pro ducers.

The Stone Crock’s salad division, bakery and meat shop adds an exciting new internal supply channel for Fat Sparrow. “We take great pride in making as much food in - house as we can,” says Benninger. “At Taco Farm we make everything from scratch down to our house - made tortillas and chips and I’m beyond excited to extend that even further with the support of our own bakery and butcher shop.”

With the combination of the Stone Crock enterprise, Fat Sparrow Group will now employ 180 people. “Employees are our most valuable resource,” states Benninger. “We’re confident our expansion is going to help us to grow all aspects of our business, particularly on the catering side where we will be able to handle much bigger corporate events and weddings. We’re looki ng forward to working with all our employees and divisions to make these events exceptional.”

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