Caleb and Jess Satterfield started Rootimentary with a simple conversation between a husband and wife about the possibilities behind opening a restaurant.
Caleb Satterfield is a skilled chef and knowledgeable in the business world, while Jess Satterfield has a passion for HR work and making employees feel wanted and needed. With these skillsets combined, they approached Laurens City Council and immediately got to work in October 2021.
While there is no definitive opening date yet, Jess Satterfield says that the couple will be serving guests by 2023.
"We will likely open on reservation only," Satterfield explained. "The town has been so supportive and excited, so in order to control the chaos and make life easier for our employees and the experience more personal for our guests, we figured the best approach would be to control traffic flow."
Satterfield explained the restaurants opening as being a staggered launch for all of the amenities they plan to have.
First to open will be the dining portion of the restaurant as well as the traditional steakhouse bar. They will be open for dinner only at first, Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., approximately. After that successfully launches, they will open doors for a Sunday brunch. Then they will embark on Tuesday through Saturday lunches.
Their landlord also has a space behind the restaurant's main building that they plan to use as a special event space for guests, once renovations are complete.
The menu, Jess Satterfield describes, is "Southern comfort food combined with fine dining."
"It's super fancy but also super delicious," she noted.
The side and salad options will be seasonal, as they are using local crops so what is available for purchase will depend on what is in season. They will always have options of chicken, steak or seafood. She also mentioned the possibility of using meat from a local ostrich farm.
Rootimentary will also offer two 16-foot bars. The first one will have a wide variety of cocktails and mocktails. The second bar, located in the basement area, will be representative of the 1920s' speakeasies during the Prohibition Era.
In order to enter the basement bar, guests will have to make a reservation, where they will get a password for entry, and adhere to a nicer dress code.
Pricing will be consistent with that of a fine dining experience, so the Satterfields can "be fair to (their) guests while also being conscious of our bills and wages."
Jess Satterfield says that the price of a dish is often reflective of its value, and she ensures high value in the dishes Rootimentary will offer.
"I grew up with (fast food restaurants) being a treat to my family," Jess Satterfield explained. "Now, with Caleb exposing me to so many dining options, I get nervous when the food is too inexpensive because I worry it may not be as fresh or quality food."
Rootimentary will open with 12 hired employees, maxing out at 16 or 17 at any given point. Jess Satterfield says that she sees value in bringing dignity back to the restaurant industry, an industry that has become thought of as a place that people only work if they "have to."
It is this belief that sparked the restaurant's play-on-words name. Rootimentary, a play on rudimentary, is an ode to the Satterfields' being rooted in the Lord. A lot of how they will treat their employees is based on their Biblical beliefs in "bringing out the good in people" and providing a welcoming work environment.
Jess Satterfield actually took training courses through the John Maxwell team, certified in leadership curriculum, in order to become certified herself to use their Biblically-based leadership trainings to train employees.
She oftentimes tells people that Rootimentary was spelled uniquely because "Caleb is rooted (in Laurens,)" but she admits that it goes much deeper. Along with being rooted in the Lord, they also discussed the definition of rudimentary, "back to the basics," being representative of the type of food Caleb Satterfield will bring to the table.
"It's just simple. He turns simple ingredients into something that looks incredibly fancy and is so tasty," Jess Satterfield said.