Eric Dietrich – COO/Owner
There are several nice things that collectively make up the Dietrich persona, but one of the nicest is that he’s a graduate of Cleveland Heights High School; and, in that sense, not only is he a product of the city, but understands, as do many Clevelanders, what the city is all about, what it represents, and what it takes to survive here. There is not likely to be another high school that reflects better the city’s diversity from blue- to white collar; from Black to white, Asian to Hispanic, gentile to Jewish. Whatever else Dietrich learned while prepping at Heights, adjusting to and appreciating disparate cultures and values are what remain rooted in his psyche. He’ll tell you that those qualities not only served him well once he graduated from Mount Union College where he earned a BA in sports management, but are crucial to understanding what takes place in a restaurant: behind the scenes—working with kitchen and dining-room staff—and up front welcoming guests and mingling with them.
His career following graduation took him, from 1998-2000, into business, Glass Equipment Development (GED), where he was the company’s Midwest regional sales manager. From GED, he joined the Cleveland Force indoor soccer team as vice president and assistant general manager from 2000 to 2005. And then . . .well, then, he got his first taste of what the restaurant business is all about by becoming an investor in The Original Soupman which some people claim is the model for Seinfeld’s soup Nazi character. The company is a soup franchise and retail packaged goods company (in Cleveland, the soups are available at Walmart’s grocery stores). Its soups were rated one of the best-tasting in a recent issue of Consumer Reports. The product is on the shelves in over 4000 grocery stores in the States and Canada: www.originalsoupman.com
Eric lives in Hudson with his wife and two children.