Steve Hooper

Steve Hooper

President

Steve is a native of the Pacific Northwest, having grown up in Redmond, and currently residing in Green Lake. He graduated from Colby College and spent his early career in Investment Banking in Seattle and Venture Capital in Boston. After graduating with his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Steve decided to pursue his entrepreneurial passion, founding Kigo Kitchen and leading it as CEO from inception until its merger with ESR in 2019.

HOMETOWN

Born in Long Beach, CA. but moved to Seattle at 6 weeks old, so I call this home.

FIRST RESTAURANT JOB

Rolling and bagging burritos for Boloco in Boston, MA.

LAST RESTAURANT JOB

If all goes well over the next 40 years, this one - I couldn’t imagine loving my job more.

FAVORITE LATE NIGHT SNACK

Leftovers of whatever my wife has most recently cooked up.

RESTAURANT PET PEEVE

Hearing “this plate is REALLY hot” from a server - It always makes me worry it has been sitting under a heat lamp for 20+ minutes.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SEATTLE?

The fact that our city is so integrated with the outdoors and is thus such an active region.  I love seeing people take advantage of the natural beauty all around us.

FAVORITE PLACE IN THE WORLD

There is a small stretch of coastline on the Northwest corner of the Big Island of Hawaii, called the Kohala Coast - it is my sanctuary.  The food is all local and fresh, you can know the name of your fishmonger and enjoy the best produce on the planet. There is no place like it in the world and I get there as often as life will allow to recharge.

CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT

My family, both immediate and extended.  They are the source of every great thing that has happened in my life.

WHAT'S ON THE DVR?

We’re currently WAAYYY too into Killing Eve.

WHAT'S ON THE NIGHTSTAND?

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou and Measure what Matters by John Doerr

WHAT'S ON THE IPOD?

I’m listening to a LOT of Casper Baby Pants recently, but usually under protest (usually…).

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?

Everything happens for a reason.  It can be very hard to see what that reason is at the time, but it inevitably reveals itself.  I’ve been following my passions and things that interest me for most of my life. I’ve been incredibly lucky along the way, but I’ve also had great mentors that have guided me along that journey.  I never could have imagined being in the position I hold today, but everything I’ve done has prepared me for what I’m doing now and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

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