Among the things that Mouris Gawrgy might have done with a new life in the United States were continue as a teacher or work as a dish washer for all eternity.
Shortly after he arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s, however, his passion for food and business ownership won out, and as they say, the rest is history.
Gawrgy is the owner of the , a small eatery serving breakfast and lunch that is nestled between the Berkeley Heights Train Station and Springfield Avenue.
The restaurant has become known as a central gathering point for families, particularly on weekends when parents are looking for a simple quality meal with no fuss.
Family oriented customers are the pride of Gawrgy, who says that upholds customer appreciation as key to his success. “They trust me and give me business and I appreciate every one of them,” he said.
Gawrgy’s customer focus stems from his experience working for others initially and then for himself after came to the United States to create a better life for himself and his family.
Gawrgy started out washing dishes for in Warren. As a dishwasher with little command of English, he said he always strived to better and to achieve.
“When I started to work as a dishwasher I said, why can’t I be the cook or why can’t I be the chef or the owner?,” Gawrgy said.
Gawrgy began looking for other opportunities in 1985. Through a friend, he was able to purchase a small restaurant in Newark, sell it in two months and net $60,000. He rolled some of that cash into a lunch truck for a year, then found the restaurant opportunity in Berkeley Heights.
When one of the owners of Country Squire revealed that he was purchasing a small eatery in Berkeley Heights, Gawrgy became a partner to help build the business.
“Once we had some business, he got excited and wanted to sell it,” Gawrgy said. “So I bought him out six months later.”
Gawrgy, who taught chemistry and physics in Egypt before coming to the United States, said that his signature foods are soups: “I use my chemistry in it.“ As for the bacon and eggs, he said, "I make a good breakfast."
Gawrgy, who is known as "Mo," to his customers, suspects that his customers, all of whom he said he knows personally and greets them by name, return to his restaurant because “I treat my customers like a friend or family,” he said. “They come back for my cooking and for my friendship.”
Because he is from Egypt, Gawrgy said that people often ask him for Middle Eastern dishes such as Baba Ghanoush and felafel. He said he will make these dishes, but only on special order “because I learned how to make it here, not back home.”
Gawrgy’s true authenticity lies in his approach with people and his appreciation for he opportunities he has had in the U.S.
“This is a small business where you don’t be rich but you have your own job forever,” Gawrgy said. “I have a comfortable life. I raised three kids and got them through college. I believe in work and I really love to work.”