Doug Stemen - The Path of Progress

With the massive variety of franchises to choose from, how does one settle on the right concept, the right location and, more importantly, the right food that will draw in the right people at the right time? That’s a lot to take into consideration, especially in a town like Columbus.

Yet with all the choices out there, Camille’s Sidewalk Café was the smartest and healthiest choice for Doug Stemen, Operating Partner for Camille’s Columbus 1; LTD. “It was an easy fit,” he remembers. “It’s cozy and it’s comfortable. It’s also not that fast food feeling.”

Stemen, a Columbus native, has spent over 15 years in the restaurant industry, eight of that with another category killer in the casually quick dining industry – Panera. It was there that Stemen’s knowledge of how a business was run from the top down expanded and his desire to open his own casual dining establishment deepened.

Together with his financial partners Al and Chris Kafity, they opened their first location on Polaris Parkway in August of 2004, followed by a second location on Lane Avenue in December of that year. Since then, they’ve added two more locations in Reynoldsburg and Pickerington with the goal of opening 10-12 additional Camille’s around the city.

Offering a variety of wraps, pizzas, and smoothies to the backdrop of top songs from the 80s and 90s, Camille’s has that casually-cool elegance that is hard to find in most franchised fast food joints. That mix, along with impeccable customer service, has only added to the growth potential of the business. “We have a motto,” says Stemen. “Rule #1—The guest is always right. Rule #2—If the Guest is wrong, refer to Rule #1.”

To learn more about Camille’s, visit