Company Name: First St. Café
About the business: Full service restaurant and catering service
Location: Benicia, California
Owner: Mark and Terry Krull
Year Founded: 1996
Number of Employees: 40
E-Myth Program: E-Myth Mastery — Focus Level

Mark Krull, owner of First St. Café, has been selected as E-Myth’s client of the month because of the genuine amount of energy and focus he has put into both his coaching program and his pursuit of mastering the E-myth Mindset. An E-Myth client for over two years now, Mark has implemented systems, practices and changes in his point of view that have not only caused his team to flourish, but have allowed him more and more freedom from the business. He holds mentoring meetings with his staff twice a month which greatly cultivates his company culture and strengthens employee morale. Mark doesn’t just take the information he gains from his coach and keep it as head knowledge — he puts it into practice. That is the E-Myth point of view in action.


First St. Café provides caring, comfortable and customized dining experiences daily - serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, espresso drinks, beverages, beer and wine. Guests can enjoy an extensive beer and wine list and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in the upstairs wine, appetizer and dessert bar. Sunday Afternoon Jazz is also offered from 2-5 pm. The upstairs area of the restaurant is also available for catering events - up to 50 guests at any time. For catering services, First St. Café offers a personalized dining experience for all occasions in their upstairs venue or at an off-site location of the client's choosing. They are experts in creating customized menus that are sure to make any event stand out, all while providing a great value to the organizer.

I've been in the restaurant business since I was a teenager. I worked for many restaurant companies and learned a lot about the business. For many years my wife and I talked about how we should open our own place and in 1996 the timing was right to take the plunge. We felt we could do it differently and better than many places we visited as guests and our sense of independence encouraged us to go out on our own.

Several years ago, I had listened to a tape set of Michael Gerber speaking about E-Myth. I had wanted to participate in the program ever since. My wife and I discussed it and she felt that I knew everything I needed to know and that I just wasn't applying what I knew consistently. We discussed it for years. One day, during one of our discussions about how I was working so much in the business and not really making the money that should have gone with the effort, I told her that if we keep doing what we've always done, we'll keep getting what we always get. I guess after so many discussions I finally wore her down and she agreed to have me proceed into the Mastery program.

Our business was still growing, but we weren't really making any money. We were keeping the business alive, the crew was getting paid on schedule, but we weren't and I wanted to get help to make that change.

The two major areas that Mastery has helped are:
  1. Working on my business
  2. Using the processes and worksheets to create the systems and tools to get the results without being there as much.

It's given me a chance to talk about my business to someone who listens, understands and then gives me coaching to help me either confirm the path I want to take, or, give me resources to make a change.

I guess there's more than two. It has helped me remember to see what is going on from the viewpoint of discovering what system is involved in my problem and then given me the tools to modify that system. It also changes my mindset to one of a person who doesn't get as frustrated by things that aren't working. It helps me look at those items objectively and in a way where I can change it to make it work better, more efficiently.

The program has changed the way our crew members interact quite a bit. We are working towards having one-on-ones with every employee at least every two weeks. That has had a significant impact on the feelings and results that the Crew delivers day to day. I think from the family viewpoint, as we become better with money and the checks become more regular, this will improve as well.

Our coach, Adam, is great. He is an excellent listener and allows me the time to occasionally talk myself through my own problem while, at other times, telling me what I need to hear. Sometimes that is constructive and sometimes that is encouragement. As a small business owner I get lost in my own little cocoon where I don't understand other points of view. Adam gives me someone to talk to that is on my side, no matter what. He doesn't criticize or make me feel wrong about anything. Instead he offers support and ideas about looking at things through the E-Myth point of view which helps me tremendously. He has helped me develop that point of view in my business.

As a leader I have grown. I think I look at my business more without frustration and worry. Whatever issues I have, I look at them more from a systems standpoint and how I can learn from this point of view. I think it has helped me be a better communicator to my staff. It has helped me have a clearer picture of what I want and a clearer picture of how to share that with our Crew. As a business person, I believe I am more objective and focused on creating the business I envision. This helps me be motivated to work On my business more and finds ways to not be working IN the business.

My vision for our business is to get it to the point where it runs without me completely and delivers better results than when I was working in it 8-10 hours per day. Our crew continues to grow, to learn and get the results we want without me. We manage the business more effectively with specific tools and procedures that help us get excellent results with our people. The future is very bright and exciting as we explore new ways to do things. I think that we will look at 2011 as a turning point in our business - and that's saying a lot after already owning it for 15 years.

E-Myth has taught me many things in the past 2+ years. They are things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. These insights are helping me look at the world and my business in a way that helps me feel aligned with my primary aim for myself and our strategic objective for enterprise. And best of all, I continue to be excited about the future of my business. I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what we can be.

— Mark Krull

+1 541.552.4600
United States