Print
Restaurants

Wilmington Restaurant Gets Eggs-actly What It Needs

By Jenny Callison, posted Sep 15, 2021
Brisket benedict was a dish highlighted on Eternal Sunshine Cafe's Facebook page in August. (Courtesy of Eternal Sunshine Cafe)
Despite pandemic-related stresses, the mood at Eternal Sunshine Cafe is sunny-side-up these days.

Not only does owner Michael Pellegrino encourage and model a positive attitude for his staff, but that cheery outlook has just been rewarded.

The Wilmington breakfast and lunch restaurant is the winner of a $1,000 award from the N.C. Egg Association, the result of an eight-week contest this summer in which state residents nominated their favorite restaurant that serves eggs.

The egg farmers’ association gathered votes from the coastal, Piedmont and mountain regions of the state; there was one winner from each region.

A recognition that the past 18 months have been very difficult for restaurants, the prize “is intended to help them rebuild, make updates, and/or support employees during the ongoing pandemic,” according to a news release from the association.

“With almost 400 nominations, it is clear that consumers are eager to support local restaurants in their communities after a challenging past year,” the release continued. “And our egg farmers are proud to give back to independent, family-owned restaurants across the state.”

Pellegrino, who opened Eternal Sunshine Cafe in January 2013, said it was “definitely nice to get the accolade,” and that he plans to use the money to do something fun for his staff.

“We will close an hour early one day, probably in October, and I am taking the whole team down to Myrtle Beach to Top Golf for a little pat on the back and some team bonding like sports teams do,” he said. “I’m big on morale and chemistry, so we’re picky about whom we hire and keep.”

In addition to riffing on Eggs Benedict basics, Eternal Sunshine Cafe's menu features a variety of breakfast and brunch dishes. It offers a mimosa menu as well.

A focus on good chemistry, as well as good cooking, has helped the restaurant survive the downturn, Pellegrino said.

Only five months after opening a second location in Leland, however, Eternal Sunshine Cafe was forced to close it last January because Pellegrino couldn’t find enough staff to operate both restaurants.

He consolidated all the employees to the 420 Eastwood Road location and added more tables there.

“We’re still short-staffed but we’ve been able to adapt,” he said. “I am cooking on the line every day. We’ve got a young team and this experience has taught us a lot.”

The Piedmont region egg award winner was Angie’s Restaurant in Garner; Asheville’s Sunny Point Cafe came away with the Western North Carolina prize.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Georgiarowe

Salling and Tate Dentistry Launches Annual "Gunner’s Runners" Shoe Collection Event, Aiming to Surpass Last Year's Success

Georgia Rowe - Wide Open Tech
Untitleddesign2 4523114356

Cybersecurity and Productivity: Striking the Perfect Balance for Business Success

Barrett Earney - EarneyIT
Jane

It’s Child’s Play

Jane Morrow - Smart Start of New Hanover County

Trending News

Haley Promoted To President, CEO Of Wilmington Downtown Inc.

Staff Reports - Jun 18, 2024

Commercial Real Estate Firm Adds Four Partners

Staff Reports - Jun 18, 2024

Women To Watch Awards Finalists Announced

Staff Reports - Jun 18, 2024

Blue Surf Cafe To Celebrate 10th Anniversary, Add Dinner Service

Jessica Maurer - Jun 19, 2024

Proposed Castle Hayne Projects Could Bring Thousands Of Homes, Commercial Space

Emma Dill - Jun 17, 2024

In The Current Issue

CVB Dollars Fuel Out-of-state Push

From marketing to potential visitors via streaming services to attracting more events to the convention center, the Wilmington and Beaches C...


Local Museum Celebrates 45 Years Honoring Railroad

The museum was founded as a joint contribution of three local Wilmington residents and a handful of artifacts, growing from there....


Info Junkie: ChyAnn Ketchum

ChyAnn Ketchum, public information officer for the city of Southport, shares her top info and tech picks....

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season