ICE graduates Eric McIntyre and Scott Fagan are among a number of alumni couples who enrolled together with the hopes of owning their own business. Today, they’ve transformed a successful catering company—Tip of the Tongue—into a café storefront in their Brooklyn neighborhood of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. We recently caught up with Eric to gain some perspective on their first year of business.
What were you and Scott doing before you enrolled at ICE?
Prior to ICE, I was working as legal recruiter for the contract and permanent placement of attorneys, paralegals and legal secretaries. Scott was working as a health and food writer, developing stories and production for DiscoveryHealth.com, as well as recipes for The South Beach Diet and The Zone Diet. Prior to that, he was the producer of “Ask Doctor Weil,” a health website produced through Time Warner.
What have you been up to since graduating?
ICE also helped me get my first job—at Eleven Madison Park. I met Nicole Kaplan (then the executive pastry chef) at an ICE career fair. I worked at there from May 2002 – December 2005. During that time, Scott had been doing freelance catering work and then started his own catering business. In August 2005, things started to pick up and he leased a commercial kitchen. I left Eleven Madison to begin working with him in January 2006. For years, while we were working on catering for events, we talked about opening a brick-and-mortar bakery/cafe. After looking at many spaces in many neighborhoods (mostly in Brooklyn), we decided to open a shop in the neighborhood where we live, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, in May 2013.
Which accomplishments make you the most proud?
I'm happy to still be in business. As many of us know in the food industry, margins are tight and managing costs is a challenge. We're happy to still be doing what we love.