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June 5, 2018
Giving Back: Brett Hulbert and Sandra Morris
Sandra Morris and Brett Hulbert, the husband and wife team behind Portobello’s, laugh as they describe the dance in their cozy restaurant on a busy night. Morris and her team weave between the tables as they welcome guests, open wine, and serve Hulbert’s classic dishes created in the trademark open kitchen from the best local ingredients. “It’s a family,” they say, “and we all work together.”
Hulbert, an experienced executive chef, and Morris, a former realtor, first visited Kennett Square one sunny Farmers Market Friday in 2011. They fell in love with the town, and its people, and decided to open their restaurant here.
The community has since become their family too. They enjoy working alongside fellow business owners who all support each other—from bringing ice to one another when someone’s machine breaks to sharing ingredients if a restaurant runs out of something. “People don’t just shovel their own section of the sidewalk,” Morris says.
They also enjoy giving time, energy, and food to support many local nonprofits, including the Kennett Library and the Flash, as well as charities such as Habitat for Humanity and Unite for HER. They wish they could do more—which is part of why they’re excited to be expanding into 108–112 East State Street this summer.
As Morris unfurls the blueprints, Hulbert points out the various intimate spaces in the new restaurant—the bar and lounge, the gallery and expanded open kitchen with lots of chef seating, the private dining room, and the collapsible wall that will lend a European feel with indoor/outdoor seating.
The menu will be larger and broader, featuring more small plate offerings as well as flatbreads baked in a Vermont-built pizza oven, along with wine pairings and craft cocktails. There will be blues, jazz, maybe even a story slam. “We’re growing with Kennett Square,” Hulbert says.