Skillets opens new location in Port Charlotte

Skillets opens new location in Port Charlotte 03

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Following the grand opening of Skillets on Feb. 9 in Port Charlotte’s Peachland Promenade, the lunch and breakfast spot’s 15th location, Ross and Noreen Edlund looked back over the years since opening their first location in 1995 in Naples.

Skillets serves breakfast and lunch items from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The brand is known for serving homemade meals made from scratch with premium ingredients.

The Edlunds arrived in Naples in the early 1990s after Ross Edlund sold his four Let Them Eat Cake bakeries in Chicago.

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His foray into the restaurant business was serendipitous. While finishing college, he met a talented pastry chef who wanted to open a pastry shop. Telling Edlund he couldn’t do it alone, the chef offered Edlund a 50% interest in the venture.

The business took off, and soon there were several Let Them Eat Cake bakeries throughout the city.

Before opening Skillets, Edlund embarked on other ventures in the Naples area. He sold life insurance, did restaurant-related work and also bought a deli.

Edlund said he saw the need for something Naples lacked at the time—a high quality, reasonably priced gathering place serving homemade, flavorful and nutritious breakfasts and lunches from scratch.

While he wanted to open a food establishment in Naples, he knew he didn’t want to own a bakery again. By 1995, he and Noreen had two small children, and he wanted to be home with them for dinner.

A pastry bakery operates through the night preparing the next day’s offerings.

Skillets soon became a popular breakfast/lunch gathering place after its opening in 1995.

“We never looked back. The timing was right. Naples grew like a weed,” Edlund said. “People were looking for what we had to offer.”

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Besides the ambience, the quality of the food has been a draw, he said.

“We use premium bacon. We make our own orange/strawberry syrup,” he said.

The real maple syrup is of the highest quality—Grade A Amber—and the corned beef is cooked on the premises then made into homemade hash.

Four more Skillets restaurants in Naples followed, and then others began to open in other parts of Florida.

“It’s been a lot of fun over the last 29 years. I feel blessed,” Edlund said.

The decision to open a Skillets in Port Charlotte at 24123 Peachland Blvd., Unit A10, was an easy one. Fans of Skillets living in Port Charlotte would travel to Skillets in Venice or Fort Myers.

“We listened to our devoted fans in Port Charlotte and are so excited to be able to join their community and look forward to feeding generations of families there,” Noreen Edlund said.

Like other Skillets, the Port Charlotte location is large. The 4,375-square-foot restaurant seats 196 guests and it employs 20 and has an identical menu to the other locations.

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Now semi-retired but the creative force behind Florida’s Skillets, the Edlunds leave the day-to-day operations to company CEO Joe DiGangi, who said the most popular item on the menu is bacon and eggs followed by pancakes and waffles.

Both whole wheat and gluten-free pancakes and waffles are available, DiGangi said.

Since its opening, Skillets in Port Charlotte has been busy, and DiGangi couldn’t be happier.

“We are thrilled to expand into the vibrant city of Port Charlotte,” he said. “Skillets is not just a place to dine, it’s a gathering space where flavors come alive and memories are made. We look forward to serving our guests with passion and dedication. We want to thank the community for welcoming us with open arms.”

Skillets also has locations in Bradenton, South Sarasota, Bonita Springs, Lely, Delray Beach and Boca Raton.

DiGangi said one will be opening in Wellington in Palm Beach County, and more locations are planned.