Third Place and beyond for Breting

Breting’s latest business endeavor, The Bomoseen Dog, is now open.

Third Place Pizzeria has been a staple in the Castleton community for the past five years. And owner Andrew Breting has been working hard to make sure it’s around for years to come – and he’s adding on.

Breting is a Castelton alum who has flourished in the food business world. But coming out of college with a degree in sociology, his plan was to get a job within that field of work.

“I started at a program called The Park Street Program in Rutland, but while I was working there, I also worked at a restaurant,” Breting said. “After a couple months of doing part-time work at The Park Street Program, I decided I’d rather commit full-time to working at the restaurant,” he added.

It may seem odd that a graduate in sociology would want to get into the restaurant business, but for Breting, this idea was always a possibility.

“I wrote about it in an English Comp paper, where I talked about opening up a food truck in the area. In college I never thought I’d own multiple restaurants in this area, but I knew deep down I wanted to do something with food,” Breting said.

Now he owns not only Third Place, but The Bomoseen Dog, Toad’s in Poultney and the Bomoseen Diner.

“After COVID, I felt there was an opportunity to have more restaurants because some restaurants went out of business during COVID. I felt like it was a good time to take advantage of that business plan especially because we felt like Third Place succeeded coming out of COVID,” Breting said.

Breting is very calculated in his approach to what’s going on in his business world. He studies, compares and reflects on what needs to be done in order to keep all of his businesses intact. Analytics are his best friend when it comes to measuring the activity of his business.

“I’m big on analytics, so I have a system in place that compares my daily sales to last year’s daily sales. The system will tell me what the weather was like that day last year versus this year so I’m big on analytics because any given week you can order food but nothing is guaranteed,” Breting said. “I try to do analytics the best I can so we have everything in place so that way we can be ready for the week,” Breting added.

Overseeing all of these locations is tough but with the right philosophy, he says your business can succeed. He credits his staff as a big key to his success.

“I have a really good staff that I can trust, along with a good busi-ness partner but it always comes back to the staff,” Breting said. “As a business owner you need to be able to wear every hat; some days I may be cooking, some days I may be serving, some days I may be bar-tending. So, I think you wear a different hat every day of the week and it all depends upon where that hat is needed,” Breting added.

Ethan Palazzetti, another Castleton alum, has worked under Breting for the past couple months and has grown an appreciation for how Breting operates.

“I was away in Colorado over winter break and when I came back he drove me over to a location and said we’re going to open up an outdoor bar here. And you could tell he already had it mapped out in his mind but he was just looking for the right spot,” Palazzetti said. “He opened the diner within three days of owning it, granted he didn’t have to change much because it was a breakfast diner before but he repainted the walls, fixed up the bathrooms, and bam the diner was ready to open,” Palazzetti added.

Third Place kitchen staff in action.

Palazzetti has also learned the ins and outs of how to run a successful business. Being around Breting on a day-to-day basis as an employee has helped Palazzetti broaden his outlook on the food business.

“I get to see all of his business because I do all of his day-to-day restaurant operations. Whether it’s maintenance, food orders, setting up outdoor seating, shoveling, just all kinds of things needed to maintain a successful business,” Palaz-zetti said.

Castleton’s assistant director of residence life Shaun Willliams admires the magic Breting brings to the Castleton community.

“Breting has a special way about him where he sees the good in everybody and you’ll find some very interesting people who work for him but he’s able to bring out the best in them,” Williams said. “I’ve watched people change their lives by coming off drugs and sobering up underneath his leadership and it’s a magical thing to see. I think it’s really cool that he invests in his workers to help them achieve their goals too.”

Outside of bringing in more income for the town, Breting has impacted the community in other ways. Palazzetti pointed to a moment this summer that brought historical value to a lot of the old Castleton graduates.

“When we were opening The Dog and the news broke town, all the old-timers were really interested in it because back in the day it used to be one of the biggest bars in Vermont. They had a long horseshoe bar. It’s not the same now but all the Castleton students would go down and perform the tradition of walking The Dog after you graduated from Castleton,” Palazzetti said. “I think it brought back memories for all old timers when they lived the good ole days.”

But Breting isn’t done. He said he has plans to continue expanding and possibly bring a different taste to the area.

“Growing up in an Italian family I’ve always been blessed with really good Italian food, I think Rutland county is missing out on an Italian restaurant so I think I’d like to open one Italian restaurant,” Breting said.

Breting has also been interested in expanding Toad’s, the burger bar in Poultney. Because Poultney is a small town it keeps Toad’s pretty busy, but perhaps seeing it in a more populated area can potentially bring in more income and attraction.

As you build a business and generate money you begin saving to think about bigger projects. It’s not necessarily all about what you can do to enhance the restaurant but also what you can add to impact the surrounding people, he said.

“I think I’m at that point where I’m lucky to have four businesses running at one time, which is great, but we have some thoughts that would add to the community like giving college students more things to do on the weekend. I think the biggest thing for me is that coming from a city, there’s always something to do, whether it’s raining or beautiful, but here you don’t have that luxury,” Breting said. “Giving people stuff to do around here like activities is probably my next vision.”

CU alum Andrew Breting, far right, opened Third Place Pizzeria in 2017 and has since acquired three more restaurants — Toad’s, Bomoseen Diner and The Bomoseen Dog.

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