Owner of Parlor Kitchen talks rebuilding his business, plans for the future

Ryan McKenzie used to run Table Ghost Kitchen before business dissolved

Ube Waffle from Parlor (Parlor Kitchen)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Starting a business is a difficult proposition, but rebuilding one can be even harder.

That is the position Ryan McKenzie finds himself in.

McKenzie owns and operates Parlor, a pop-up kitchen specializing in cookie-stuffed waffles. He previously ran the business as Table Ghost Kitchen with his former partner Stevie Andujar, but their business relationship dissolved in early 2022.

[ADD YOUR BUSINESS TO THE FLORIDA FOODIE DIRECTORY]

“I lost the business’ Facebook and TikTok, the website where we were getting cookie orders from all over the nation,” McKenzie said. “Luckily, I saved the Instagram account and the email address, but it ended up just being like a one-man show.”

Check out the Florida Foodie podcast. You can find every episode in the media player below:

When Table shut down, McKenzie found himself having to move closer to Tampa, though he still drives into Orlando every day to work on Parlor.

“Honestly, I was saved by my best friend and honestly, without her, I could not have continued at all,” he said.

His friend is allowing him to live with her while he works to get Parlor to a point where it is sustainable.

“It’s been a blessing in disguise because I’ve been able to hone the vision that I saw for Table Ghost Kitchen and make it an actual thing and honestly, it’s starting to take off a little bit which is really cool,” McKenzie said.

Parlor has a full slate of pop-up events planned, which can be found on its Instagram page. McKenzie is also catering private events, such as weddings. He also recently partnered with Ashley Snell, the wife of NBA player Tony Snell, for events at her new store in Winter Park.

McKenzie is hoping to grow his business further.

“Now I’m working with an investor and just trying to hopefully, get a brick and mortar going,” he said. “Since Table has closed, within less than a year, I’m on track to double sales and everything is getting reinvested.”

“It’s Kern” Mochi Cake Fresh corn mochi cake topped w/ scratch caramel whipped cream. Dusted w/ sea salt & fire-torched popcorn. Hot honey drizzle. (Parlor Kitchen)

McKenzie wants Parlor to grow into more than just a restaurant.

“I want eventually Parlor to be almost an attraction, an immersive experience,” he said.

His dream is to get the business into Universal Orlando’s CityWalk, though he knows that may take some time to accomplish. For now, he is looking into a walk-up location with counter service.

McKenzie could not say exactly where he plans to open his first brick-and-mortar location, but did say he wants it to be in Orlando. He doesn’t have a timeline for when a brick-and-mortar store might open.

[TRENDING: Day care workers charged, accused of scaring toddlers with Halloween mask | Friends shocked by death of Lake County pilot in South Florida plane crash | Become a News 6 Insider]

In the meantime, he will continue showing up at food festivals and other pop-up events.

“This is getting bigger and people are starting to notice and I’m just incredibly proud that I didn’t give up,” McKenzie said.

See Ryan McKenzie’s interview on Florida Foodie while he was still operating as Table Ghost Kitchen:



About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.