It’s a food family affair at new Marina restaurant

Owner Susan Marsh with her daughter Jenna Marsh at Teriyaki Madness in the Dunes on Monterey Bay shopping center in Marina on Monday. (Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald)
Teriyaki Madness in The Dunes on Monterey Bay shopping center in Marina on Monday. (Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald)

Marina >> There is method behind Teriyaki Madness, a new restaurant opening in Marina. And it’s all about family.

Parents, Susan and David Marsh of Carmel, and their son and daughter-in-law, Jon and Lisa Marsh of Carmel Valley, are partners in the new Asian fast-casual restaurant franchise opening Thursday at the Dunes on Monterey Bay shopping center in Marina.

“It was Jon’s idea,” said Susan Marsh. “He researched it and found it to be an incredible product.”

Marsh added, though, that the driving force behind the restaurant idea was that she and her husband wanted to find a way to help keep their son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren in the area.

David Marsh is a retired commercial landscaper, Susan Marsh a retired speech therapist, Jon Marsh has a real estate background and operates a carpet cleaning business. Lisa Marsh has sales and marketing experience in the wine industry.

Jon’s sister, Jenna Marsh, has been able to take time out from her job in Los Angeles to also help out with the launch of the new venture.

“We’ve all migrated to our roles naturally,” said Lisa Marsh.

She said her father-in-law oversaw the interior construction of the restaurant, while her sister-in-law has been instrumental in setting up the business systems. “And Susan (Marsh) is the heart,” she said.

But it has taken over two years to get to this point with Lisa’s husband, Jon, starting his other franchise business in the meantime.

Lisa Marsh said she contacted developer Scott Negri when the patch of land, that would eventually be home to restaurants and retail businesses, was still an empty field. She said she told him of her family’s idea to bring Teriyaki Madness here, and he thought it would be a good addition to the types of restaurants he was hoping for the center.

“We were looking for a place on the (Monterey) Peninsula, … we even thought about San Jose,” said Lisa Marsh. But the family’s plan and that of the shopping center seemed to be the right fit.

Over time the development was held up by one thing or another and Lisa Marsh said “we just roll with the punches.”

But the Marsh’s persevered and their restaurant, which was to open last month but held up by construction delays, is ready to open its doors.

When Teriyaki Madness is up and running, the 1,600-square-foot facility will have seating for about 45 and employ about 25 people.

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with my husband and in-laws,” said Lisa Marsh.

She said she looks forward to the day when all the businesses in the complex will be serving Dunes shoppers, employees and visitors — from the nearby health facilities, hotel and movie theater to CSU Monterey Bay students and faculty.

And even if the family members have disputes or differences of opinion about the business, they come together on decisions and then “hug it out,” said Lisa Marsh, because in the end “we’re working together to have a positive experience for us and the community.”

“It’s powerful to be the first job for some of our employees. … You always remember your first job,” said Lisa Marsh.

Though Teriyaki Madness opens Thursday, the Marsh’s will have a grand opening party Jan. 12, complete with ribbon cutting and free mini-bowls of their product line.

The restaurant chain has been around for over 10 years. Starting in Seattle and growing to Las Vegas and now points beyond, Teryiyaki Madness serves a selection of proteins — chicken, beef and tofu — and steamed or stir-fried vegetables over rice or noodles. The star of the dishes being one of five signature sauces made in house, from scratch, and using old family recipes.

The business is about creating the best teriyaki, using only fresh produce, and quality meats, noodles and rice in customizable, made-to-order dishes, according to the Teriyaki Madness website. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.