After 19 years in the printing business, Joe Hadaway decided it was time for a career change. And in the process, the 40-year-old Forest Hill resident found a way to involve his whole family as owner of Dillweed’s Gourmet Kitchen & Café in Bel Air.
Hadaway purchased Dillweed’s in September 2010 after discovering the business was for sale online. The restaurant is known for its delectable breakfast options, including French toast and bagel sandwiches, as well as daily lunch specials featuring signature paninis, sandwiches, soups, salads, and more.
“I’ve always loved to cook,” says Hadaway, who is also a member of the kitchen committee at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air. “I’ve done a lot of catering at the church. My wife and I looked into buying Dillweed’s, and now I’m here running it.”
Although Hadaway’s wife, Kelly, has a full-time job at Aberdeen Proving Ground, she is part owner and helps out on the weekends. The couple’s kids, Brittany, 14, and Joey, 11, also enjoy helping their parents when they can. “My daughter likes to sing here on Friday nights, and my son wants to help more than I let him, but they both do a good job,” he says.
On Friday nights, Dillweed’s is open for dinner from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Dinner specials include heavier portions of regular menu options and specialty items, such as the gourmet Chesapeake Mac & Cheese made with crabmeat.
Fresh ingredients are very important to Hadaway. “We make sweet potato fries and homemade potato chips from scratch,” he says. “We do just about everything from scratch, including most of our salad dressings.”
Dillweed’s Gourmet Kitchen & Café
111 Thomas Street
Bel Air, MD 21014