Jed Sanford’s acumen for analyzing businesses’ growth opportunities combined with a passion for art serves as the foundation for his vibrantly successful restaurant empire, Blackhouse Hospitality. “With Blackhouse, I apply my natural, creative strengths in a way that’s focused and organized,” he explains. “By finding equally passionate chefs and team members, we can create innovative dining concepts that have a synergy of style and success.”
Although he loved art and sports as a child, Sanford initially trained as a CPA at Coopers and Lybrand. As a PwC Scholar pursuing his MBA at USC, Sanford studied management consulting and later worked in the management consulting division at PriceWaterhouse Coopers. After a few years of working closely with small to mid-size companies, he decided to form Blackhouse to pursue projects in which he had more interest. “Everyone involved with Blackhouse is hungry to grow,” he says. “We value passion and an excellent quality of life.”
Under Sanford’s guidance, the group chooses projects based not only on the enthusiasm of those involved, but the unique quality of each new concept. Blackhouse Hospitality now operates Wildcraft in Culver City, Abigaile, The Brewery at Abigaile, Día de Campo and in Hermosa Beach, and two Little Sister restaurants in Manhattan Beach and Downtown Los Angeles. Both Abigaile and Little Sister owe much of their appeal to their original approach toward presentation and the storied histories of their venues. Abigaile is housed in a former rehearsal space for the legendary punk rock band Black Flag, while Little Sister’s seating is limited to 50 to create an intimate atmosphere that harkens back to late 19th-century Southeast Asia. Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold, among other renowned food critics, has praised Little Sister’s alluring ambiance and inspired menu by co-founder Chef Tin Vuong. Not content to bask in praise, Sanford is poised to add at least two more restaurants to Blackhouse’s roster in 2016.In addition to the Blackhouse group of restaurants, he is also a co-founder and owner of the nightlife destinations Ocean Bar and Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach.
When he’s not creating award-winning hospitality experiences, Sanford exercises at the CrossFit gym that he owns. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. “I’m a big family man,” he says.