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Friends of the Brand: Don Agate



 

Throughout our travels, we have had the privilege of connecting with some really cool folks that we now call friends. They have become a part of the Sea Culture community, which for the most part, is pretty tight-knit. It's always inspiring to meet people who love their craft as much as we do. From creators to innovators and everything in between, our series Friends of The Brand highlights the incredible stories and experiences they have had along the way.

 


 

Friends who cook are the best kind to have. Skaneateles, NY may be small, but it isn't short on amazing food. The past few years have been fueled by Good Eats & Sips where we have gotten close to the owners. Finding fellow businesspeople who are as passionate about food as we are about clothing.


This Friends Of The Brand spotlight is highlighting Don Agate owner, chef, father, and husband. Chef Don Agate and his wife Marie-Helene Gingras bring over 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry and now own Good Eats & Sips in Skaneateles NY. Since June 2020, Good Eats & Sips, or just "Good" has been a staple for our everyday smoothie bowl & coffee choices.


 


 

Don grew up in Homer, NY a half hour away from Skaneateles, NY. Growing up his family always had a camp on Skaneateles Lake at the south end. Don started his career in food at age 15 as a dishwasher at the Glen Haven, a restaurant down the lake for just $4.18 an hour.


In college, Don majored in Design and Drafting. After a few changes in majors, he came back to where he really belonged, culinary school. Don applied to Johnson and Wales in Virginia. After visiting the campus, he fell in love and knew this is where he needed to be.


 



 


Don's Career has been nothing but impressive. Here are some of his favorite memories:


1. Hotel Jerome in Aspen, CO – he worked for a season, about 8 months. At the end of the season, he had 5 different offers for culinary jobs. Instead, Don had an opportunity to move back east with the chef to rescue a restaurant.

2. Land Marc, NY- Where he worked for Marc Murphy known from Chopped. He worked in Columbus Circle. Don Helped build the Banquet Program from the ground up, with no limit on budget, the sky's the limit.

3. In the middle of all the awesome restaurant jobs, he worked for the x-games as Shawn White's bodyguard.

4. Worked at Kenichi a sushi restaurant. Don had the opportunity to work under a master chef. He was his apprentice, preparing his stations and knife cuts.

5. When Don finally returned home a few of his jobs were at Mirabeau Inn & Spa, Sherwood Inn, and The Turning Stone.



 



 

Before opening the restaurant, Don and Marie looked for five years for the perfect spot. Nothing was hitting them right, so they kept looking while working in Skaneateles, NY at other restaurants. Marie was working at White Birch a wine bar that today is now the spot of their restaurant. When White Birch decided to close the owners came to Don & Marie and offered them the spot.


Nervous to open their doors, things started to fall into place. When the restaurant opened its doors, it had little publicity, and it was the start of the covid pandemic when take-out was the only option. Despite everything, the town fell in love with the new and unique food they brought to the table.


Today some of their most popular items on the menu are:


1. Nino's Bowl

2. Emma's Smoothie Bowl

3. Bahn Mi Bagel

4. Dons Hangover Bowl

5. Bubble Tea



They also have a sustainable aspect to many parts of their business. About 60 % of the food they use is organic, the bowls and lids they use are compostable, biodegradable and they use bamboo coffee stirrers.


If you're ever in Skaneateles, NY make sure to stop in and try their amazing food and atmosphere.


 


 

Check them out online at https://www.goodskan.com & give them a follow on Instagram @good_skan


Photo Credit Alania Davis Photography @alaniadavisphotography

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