Back in 2010, Michael and Pamela Drobney were regular customers of the Happy Eggplant, a kitchen store located in the Philadelphia Candies Plaza in Hermitage, PA.
As typical “foodies” they possessed an enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of good food. The Happy Eggplant offered just what they needed; a variety of specialty ingredients and high-quality cooking essentials.
When the original owner decided to sell the business, he approached the Drobneys about buying it. Their initial reaction was, “No thanks, we’re retired.”
However, as a regular patron of the store, Pamela was very grateful to have it in the community and absolutely didn’t want to see it close. After a lot of thought and consideration, they did purchase the business in October of 2010.
As Michael likes to say, “I wasn’t interested, but Pamela was, so we compromised and bought it.”
The Drobneys met as students at Penn State University. Michael was working on a BA in History and Pamela, a BS in Food Service, Restaurant & Hotel Management. They became a couple and continued dating throughout their remaining time at State College.
After graduation, they were married and settled in the Shenango Valley where Michael took a position with Merrill Lynch as an Investment Advisor.
Pamela worked as manager of fine jewelry at Kaufmann’s but pursued her interest in food and cooking during her spare time. She researched and experimented, venturing into new cuisines and techniques.
When Michael decided to retire, Pamela joined him. They had plans to travel and enjoy “the good life.”
What they didn’t plan was to buy a retail kitchen store. But, as is often the case, plans change.
Today the Drobneys devote the majority of their time to growing and developing The Happy Eggplant. They are the full-time employees, except during vacation when they bring in trusted friends to cover the store.
It’s a thriving business with a faithful customer base. Their recipe for success can be attributed to several key components:
- A commitment to offering the finest cooking ingredients and kitchen lines available
- Personal and courteous customer service
- The devoted teamwork that 42 years of marriage teaches
Michael and Pamela really are enjoying the good life, which now includes operating The Happy Eggplant!
To provide the Shenango Valley and surrounding areas with a gourmet food and kitchen shop that is THE place for fellow foodies. The goal is to offer our customers the quality and variety of equipment and ingredients they need in a fun and friendly atmosphere!