By Lanier Laney
Kyle Faucher was born and raised in Massena, N.Y., just across the St. Lawrence river from Canada. Renee Gregor Faucher was born here at the Naval Hospital overlooking the Beaufort River. The two met on St. Simon’s Island. Ga., in 2001 at their best friend’s wedding and later married and have been together for nine years.
The Fauchers moved to Beaufort just five months ago and Kyle is the new general manager of the Port Royal Pasta Company, almost across the street from where Renee was born. Another coincidence is that Renee’s Grandmother Goldie owned and ran The Blue Room that was near Charles and Boundary streets in the late 1950’s and she actually worked for Joe Malizia from Joe’s Spaghetti House in the same building that Port Royal Pasta Company is in today. They have pictures of Joe and the old Spaghetti House as well as The Blue Room.
Renee’s father, Retired Sgt. Major Earnest F. Gregor USMC, also knew Joe Malizia from Bellville, N.J., before he moved down here and reconnected with Joe after he was stationed at Parris Island as a drill instructor in the 1960’s. So coming back to the Port Royal Pasta Company building has been truly like coming home to them. Like Joe’s, Kyle says his goal is to make it again “the local pasta restaurant that is enjoyed for years to come.”
Kyle’s background is in psychology and he has a master’s degree in School Psychology which is how, ironically, he got into the restaurant business which became his true profession.
Says Kyle, “I put myself all the way through graduate school at SUNY Oswego working in restaurants. I started as a busser and worked my way up to being a bartender and eventually a bar manager. I worked as a school psychologist in Albany, N.Y., before moving to Atlanta to be with Renee, and found restaurants calling me back, so I started to work for local restaurants in Atlanta. Within a year, I became the general manager for a sports bar called Benchwarmers in Atlanta and I have continued to further my career by gaining experience in all types of restaurants, including a fine dining steakhouse (New York Prime) where I was the senior manager for two years. I have worked in every position any restaurant may have and I love every aspect of running restaurants.”
Kyle’s training in psychology has helped him tremendously in the restaurant business as it is such a “people” business.
He says, “My goal has always been to create a dining experience that exceeds a guest’s expectations. I want my guests to be surprised that they get a great meal and a great experience at a great value. This means that I have people who work with me express a genuine aptitude for serving others. I hire people because of their attitude, more than their experience. This goes for both the kitchen and waitstaff. I believe people feel if you love what you do, and I want people to feel that I love what I do.”
Renee, who is a marketing and sales consultant, comes from a family that has been actively involved with Beaufort for years. Renee’s Uncle Willard Outlaw organized the first ski shows that happened at the Water Festival and he helped organize the first Water Festival more than 50 years ago. Several generations of Renee’s family grew up in the historic two story house on the corner of Prince and Carteret streets (across from Lime Lite Salon.) Each year they would watch the Water Festival parade from there. Renee says that even for years after they had sold the house and moved away that they would always come back, park in front of their old house and watch the parade, then eat fried chicken and watermelon. This gave her lasting wonderful memories of Beaufort.
Both Kyle and Renee still love the water and the natural beauty — from the marsh to the river to Hunting Island and all the islands. “We love sitting on our dock and looking across the bay watching the birds, dolphins, boats, and people enjoying the water. Also, we love living in a military town. With strong military history on both sides, it gives us a sense of pride and allows us to honor our family by supporting the recruits and their families. We have a Wall of Heroes in the restaurant that honors our staff and their families that have served and invite our guests to bring in their hero to permanently display with pride,” said Kyle.
They also are big supporters of the YMCA. Says Kyle, “We support the YMCA’s Creating Opportunities Scholarship program and have a mission to support any child and youth development program in Beaufort county. Our goal is to create a mentoring program that allows youth to have an opportunity to learn about the restaurant business, and we have donated a portion of our proceeds to the YMCA’s program in the past.”
Renee is also a member of the Beaufort Chapter of Toastmasters and they are both active in the Chamber of Commerce.
They have a new addition to their family — Figaro, a cat that is just 17 weeks old. “He rode on my muffler home from the restaurant one night without me knowing it in November and he has been ours since,” Kyle said.
Now that you know about the Fauchers, let Kyle know something about you the next time you are dining at the Port Royal Pasta Company, and be sure to welcome them to town.
Port Royal Pasta Company is located at 1340 Ribaut Road, Port Royal, SC. Call 843-379-0146.