Our “Stacks Family” team is made up of highly professional, well-seasoned experts who love what they do. Guests frequently comment on how happy our staff appears because it shows, and it’s catching! As a team, we’re happy when our customers are happy.
(July 29, 1940 – October 7, 2009)
A dashing Mission District Irishman with a sharp mind and a gift of gab, Tom Duffy excelled as a leader in the restaurant industry. From the mid-1960’s, Tom opened up one successful restaurant after another throughout San Francisco where he established a loyal fan base—due as much to his irresistible charisma as his irresistible food.
In 1992, Tom became fascinated with the concept of creating a welcoming breakfast/lunch restaurant, and thus Stacks was born. Due to Tom’s impeccable reputation and his uncompromising standards, Stacks was a hit from the start and continues to be so today.
In October 2009, Tom Duffy passed away, leaving behind a legacy of fine restaurants throughout the Bay Area, including our Stacks in Campbell and Redwood City. Luckily, Tom also left behind a professional, committed and extremely well-trained staff—many personally trained by him—to carry on his vision and his commitment to excellence.
Tom bestowed the title of Co-founder to his beloved Bernese Mountain Dog companion, Zermatt, for consistently demonstrating qualities Tom valued in his restaurant staff: loyalty, patience, kindness and enthusiasm. Zermatt always greeted everyone—old friends and new friends alike—with a sincere excitement to see them. Never did he bark or bite.
Michael A. Schmidt
Director of Operations
Michael Schmidt has had his hand in the kitchen since he was a young boy of eight whipping up imaginative meals on his own for the family dinners. Continuing to follow his passion, Michael completed a three-year culinary apprenticeship through the Chef’s Association of the Pacific Coast, American Culinary Federation. Michael has compiled an impressive list of restaurant work experiences from Las Vegas to Palo Alto where he resided as the Executive Chef at the Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club serving over a thousand customers a day.
As Director of Operations, overseeing both the Campbell and Redwood City restaurants, Michael continues the Stacks tradition of great food and great service passed down to him from Tom Duffy. Reinforced by his extensive culinary arts and restaurant experience, Michael believes that there is nothing more important than being attentive to the guests’ needs. “We continually ask ourselves what we can do better to enhance our guest experience,” Michael reports. Extremely proud of the Stacks staff, Michael says that “It is special to watch everyone work so hard to please our guests.”
General Manager of Stacks Campbell
“My very first job as a young adult was working in a restaurant…it turned out to be my life’s calling, and I’ve never looked back,” says Jim about his career. Having worked at nearly every position in the restaurant business—dishwasher, busboy, cook, waiter, bartender, and Assistant Manager—Jim has a realistic appreciation for the unwavering teamwork it takes to make a restaurant great. As General Manager, Jim works hard to pass along his knowledge, and his philosophy, to his staff. “I feel there are three key elements to a successful restaurant: quality of food, consistency, and excellence of customer service, and we have all three. At Stacks, our customers are more than just customers; they are our guests. It’s this friendly atmosphere, along with the outstanding food, that keeps people coming back time and again.”
General Manager of Stacks Redwood City
When Michelle Gomez was a young girl visiting a local coffee shop with her mother, she proclaimed on the spot that she wanted to work in a restaurant when she grew up. That goal served Michelle well as she worked her way through college as a waitress. Graduating in business from San Francisco State University, Michelle took on several jobs, but her career path led her back to her original goal, and her “favorite job of all”—managing Stacks in Redwood City. That’s where you’ll find Michelle eagerly attending to all her guests’ needs with a smooth blend of warmth and professionalism. It is also here that you’ll find Michelle bragging about her staff, “I consider myself lucky to work with such an incredible team of talented people who go above and beyond to delight our guests. From the moment you walk in the door, this team works together to ensure you know just how much they appreciate your choosing Stacks.”
As the Assistant Manager of Stacks in Campbell and Redwood City, Andres Hernandez brings with him over 18 years of restaurant experience. Starting as a dishwasher when he first came to America, he soon found his niche within the industry. Quickly moving his way up through the positions of the restaurant, he bussed tables, served guests, cooked, bartended and eventually became assistant manager. Tom Duffy gave him the opportunity to demonstrate his abilities and talents with the Assistant Manager position at Stacks. Andres divides his time evenly between the two restaurants which gives him a broad scope of what his guests like and want. When asked what he loves about his job, Andres replied, “The people—I enjoy making people happy.”
Assistant Manager of Stacks Redwood City
Growing up in a family that took much pride to be in the restaurant business, Jessica absorbed the great customer service her mother had to give. At times when Jessica would be able to join her mother at her waitressing job, there she was, this little girl with a smile on her face following her mother also taking menu orders with her own notepad. After Many years of playing the waitress role she still holds that great big smile from ear to ear. Making sure everyone who comes in has a great and memorable experience. Jessica has had the great opportunity to have been with the Stacks team for more than 5 years and as of the beginning of 2011 was given a bigger opportunity as Assistant Manager. Jessica always makes sure everyone has a peace of mind and enjoys their experience at Stacks day in and day out.
Head Chef of Stacks Campbell
Victor Torres has been a part of the “Stacks Family” team since 1995. He, too, started his career as a dishwasher and worked his way to Head Cook. Fully incorporating Tom Duffy’s commitment to excellence, Victor is meticulous about the food he serves: “I want every plate to come out of my kitchen looking great and piping hot.” One of the most rewarding aspects of working at Stacks, Victor says, is the teamwork. “I am really proud of the guys that work in the kitchen with me. It’s not always easy working in such a busy place, but they handle everything with a great attitude.” The Stacks team is family to Victor, figuratively and literally. His son, who was only four when Victor first started, is now bussing tables for his dad.
Head Chef of Stacks Redwood City
Porfirio Lopez has been working for Stacks almost from its inception and has been overseeing the kitchen team in Stacks Redwood City for thirteen years. Despite his many years of service, however, Porfirio is as fresh and enthusiastic about his job as ever. Porfirio still takes pride in cooking up the most delicious, well presented food possible. And there’s not a day that goes by when he doesn’t make a personal effort to please his customers. For example, Porfirio says, “I love to surprise some of our regular customers when they’re coming in…they’ll sit down, and I’ll have their order ready because I saw them parking. They love it!” Not surprisingly, Porfirio speaks highly about the Stacks team: “Tenemos un buen equipo! (We have a great team!), he states. His personal motto? “Thank you for coming to Stacks. I’m ready. What’s your order?”