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back to overview Lara Hardcastle

Lara Hardcastle

Vice President

Lara’s versatility, creativity, and flexibility are just a few of the qualities that make her one of our powerhouse project managers.

Joining our team in 2006, Lara is responsible for multimillion-dollar new unit projects for markets and upscale-casual, full-service restaurants, including Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers. Working side by side with our top operators on pre-openings, Lara is instrumental to the successful launch of new restaurant units.

Lara graduated cum laude from New York University in 1992, and soon moved to Los Angeles where she joined a successful, high-volume restaurant group, helping open 10 new restaurants and participating in the development of an integrated management development program. In 1997, Lara was recruited by Dan and Mike V to open an upscale market & bakery concept where she was responsible for all facets of new unit openings and quickly became the go-to person for everything from construction layout and equipment selection to specialty goods purchasing.

Soon promoted to manage facilities and act as the key decision-maker for local and national contract negotiations, Lara’s duties expanded to include: overseeing several market remodels, spearheading a $2 million systems and network infrastructure implementation, and supporting profitability by streamlining operations through technology.

Currently, Lara is responsible for not only our new restaurant business units, where she is able to incorporate her commitment to sustainable practices, but also budgets, timelines, resources, bidding, and permitting, as well as the coordination of foodservice, design, engineering, and construction. In fact, Lara is so committed to sustainability she is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional.

She is both a top-notch project manager and utility player, with the research skills, tenacity, and flexibility to take on any new process, program or task with a true can-do spirit and unshakable determination. More than a well-rounded expert, Lara is a role model and inspiration to all those who work with her.

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