Exploring the Best Cafe & Breakfast Restaurants in Fort Myers, FL – A Sunflower Cafe Exclusive Interview

by | Nov 21, 2023 | Restaurant

  • Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Sunflower Café has been serving Southwest Florida for over 25 years. Located on the corner of Summerlin and San Carlos Boulevard on Fort Myers Beach.

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Voted the Best Breakfast in Southwest Florida, serving daily lunch and dinner specials made from scratch, homemade soups, and all-American dishes.

  • Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Nick Kontakos has worked in the finest restaurants in the Chicagoland area and has learned from the best culinary chefs. Food is his passion, to come up with multiple concepts. Nick has owned many restaurants and migrated to Florida in 1999.

  • What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

In 1998, Nick came for vacation to Florida and fell in love with the Sunshine State, opened the Sunflower Café, and brought his best recipes.

  • What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
    • Do would you like
    • Have a passion for cooking
    • Strive for excellence
  • What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
    • Hard work
    • Plenty of hours
    • Dedication
  • How many hours do you work a day on average?

15 hours

  • To what do you most attribute your success?

Hard work and hours of surrounding myself with great staff.

  • How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
    • Word-of-mouth (most successful)
    • Newspaper
    • Direct marketing
    • Social media
    • Community charity events (most successful)
  • Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Savings and financial institutions. No investors were needed.

  • What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Dedication, excellence in food, customer service

  • Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

I see myself expanding to many more locations and growing the business.

  • Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Omega Restaurant and Pancake House – Chicago Illinois

  • How important have good employees been to your success?

It is the key role to a successful business.

  • How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

6 months to a year

  • What motivates you?

A busy restaurant

  • What are your ideals?

My mother was my ideal who inspired me to follow in her footsteps.

  • How do you generate new ideas?

Brainstorming with the staff and chefs

  • How do you define success?

When the restaurant does high-volume, and has great reviews and ratings.

  • How do you build a successful customer base?

Great food and great service

  • What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Coming up with new menu items to satisfy our customers.

  • What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Giving back to the community

  • What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Entrepreneurs have more of a risk if they are not successful.

  • What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Multi-culture: attract and serve a larger customer base.

  • In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.


  • If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?


  • How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

It has been rewarding teaching the family business.

  • What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Bad economy and competition. I manage fear head-on with special discounts.

  • How did you decide on the location for your business?

Demographics and traffic count

  • Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?


  • If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Leonidas I – the King of Sparta, Greece. He was a warrior and leader. He was a warrior who never gave up.

  • Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My mother, restaurant owner

  • What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

Cookbooks, new ideas

  • What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Not expanding quickly enough

  • How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Do not rush into things!

  • What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Fishing, travel

  • What makes you happy?

Business and family, the best wife

  • What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

Working long hours

  • If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

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