The Union-Recorder – Billy Hobbs
January 28, 2020
Angelo Bizzarro knows a lot about food preparation and the same holds true when he sees an opportunity.
Both of those things immediately struck him when he visited the Bobby Parham Kitchen several years ago on the campus of Renaissance Park in Baldwin County.
Even though the old building, which at one time was considered the largest kitchen in the world, had not been used since Central State Hospital was closed by the State of Georgia, Bizzarro, founder, and chairman of Food Service Partners Inc., knew right away that the building had lots of potential.
It came at a time when members of Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority, led by Executive Director Michael Couch, were planning a resurgence of business and creation of new jobs on the campus.
“The timing couldn’t have been more perfect,” recalled Couch. “We were very interested in creating jobs here and Angelo Bizzarro happened to find out about it and became very interested. The rest is history, I guess you could say.”
The project didn’t get started right away.
In fact, it’s been a rather slow process — one that has taken nearly four years to get where it has gotten today.
But no one, including Bizzarro, or any of the members of CSHLRA, ever seemed to get discouraged.
In fact, they stayed as focused and as upbeat as they could during the long process that included lining up sources of financing.
“There were times when I thought are we going to disappoint everybody,” Bizzarro said during an interview at The Lawrence Building across the road from the Bobby Parham Kitchen, which is undergoing massive reconstruction.
Asked what got him through those unsure times, Bizzarro was quick to reply.
“It was Mike [Couch], the board and this community, the county commissioners and the city people that we had met,” Bizzarro said, noting it was because they all believed in the project. “Because I had that, it kept me going.” …READ MORE