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She’s a restaurateur and the wife of celebrity chef Michael Schlow. He’s hospitality’s go-to social media maven. Together, sister and brother Adrienne Schlow (nee Pappadopoulos) and Spiro Pappadopoulos are the driving duo behind Andolini’s and Sauce restaurants in Andover. Find out what sets them apart from other entrepreneurs, why their family business model is successful-and what Adrienne’s 7-year-old daughter says is a can’t-miss menu item. By Karyn Polewaczyk

Upon meeting this pair of siblings (who are, in this instance, joined by Adrienne’s 7-year-old daughter, Petra), they appear calm, cool, and confident-the kind of team you imagine would function with total grace under pressure, despite the constant attention required to run two restaurants and a social media agency, plus tending to each of their respective new marriages. The siblings, whose parents operated Andover mainstay Pasta Villagio from 1990 to 2004, already had a taste for the business, but it was Spiro’s return to Massachusetts from NYC in 2004 that enabled them to go beyond a familial relationship and work together as business partners. The rebrand of the former Glory restaurant to Andolini’s in 2011, plus the recent addition of Sauce in 2012, has kept the pair on their toes-and they tell Northshore they’re all the better for it.


Growing up, your family owned a restaurant, and yet you each went to school for something different [Adrienne earned a degree in creative writing from Emerson College; Spiro earned his degree in communications from Boston College]. What drew you back? Was there an urge to return to the restaurant industry? Spiro Pappadopoulos: Our father encouraged us to go to school to try on something different for size; to see what we liked. He discouraged me from attending business school, figuring that if I wanted to learn it, I could stay home and help with the business. After I graduated, I had an eight-year run focused on other ventures in New York City, but when I saw that Glory, which Adrienne opened with our father in 1999, was expanding, I felt that I should return to help, and to be with my family. We didn’t really start our collaboration there until 2004.


It seems like family businesses often go one of two ways: They either run exceptionally well, or not at all. You’ve together run three successful restaurants [including the former Evenfall in Haverhill, which closed this past summer]. Do you think your relationship has something to do with it? Adrienne Schlow: I think we have different skill sets in lots of ways, and it took us a bit of time to figure out how to best dance with each other and cover the bases. We do communicate really well. The personnel part of running a business is always really challenging; it’s transient-employment is hard. Having someone else to share that game plan with all the time was really helpful to me-we defer lots of things to one another, and it just seems to continue to work better and better. SP: I’d say the same thing. We recognize each other’s skill sets-there are things I know she’s really good at, and I think she feels the same way about certain things [I can do]. Neither of us needs to ask if we approve of each other doing things, either.


Would you say there’s a built-in level of trust, then? SP: I’d say so. I know a lot of families don’t have that, though; I don’t know if it’s because we’re brother and sister or if it’s unique [to our relationship]. We want what’s best for the business, which is what’s also best for our family.


Did you get along growing up? AS: (laughing) We got along until he started dating all of my friends in high school and college. SP: (laughing and nodding his head in agreement)


So, you get along famously. What are some of the drawbacks to working so closely with a family member? SP: There are a lot of ups and downs to running a business. Necessary changes can lead to disagreements. AS: If he were just my business partner, things would be a lot more frank and crisp when we see things differently-maybe that’d be for the best, maybe not. On the flip side, it’s a sweet blessing to know each other so well-he’s the calm to my anxious.


What advice would you give to someone entering into a family business in 2012 versus 1999? Do you think it’s a matter of experience plus balancing each other out? AS: I know a lot of people that do enjoy it and do well and pass their family businesses from generation to generation-but I know people who have heartaches from those relationships, too. I think it depends on the idea, the people involved, and if the communication is good. SP: Starting a business today is a lot riskier than it was in 1999. Whether or not it’s with a family member, you’ve got to make sure you really believe in your business and are willing to fight for it. You have to work really hard to make that happen now.


You both recently wed and moved into Boston. How does this affect your commitment to Andover and to the North Shore area? SP: I definitely consider Andover my hometown. Our mom still lives there. We own the building that Andolini’s and Sauce are housed in, too. I’ve spent the last seven days in Andover, working more than full time. I’d say I’m fully committed. I wanted to have a few years of kicking up my heels in the city before kids come along. I’ll be back. AS: Six-to-one, he [Michael Schlow] wins. In the coming years, operationally, I’ll take a step back and Spiro will act as the operating partner. I’m looking forward to having some family time. But I feel the same relationship with the town as Spiro does, and there are a lot of roles I’ll continue to play in the business. That won’t change.


Adrienne, what are your thoughts on being considered as part of a “power couple”? Are there any plans to merge with Michael as a husband-and-wife team? AS: I don’t see our relationship in those terms. I’m supportive of him, and he of me, but we’re not chef wonder twins. And there’s talk of collaboration, but as of right now there’s absolutely no real plan for that to happen.


Adrienne, you met Michael at Radius [a restaurant in Schlow’s portfolio], and Spiro, you met your wife,

Megan, at Evenfall. While we’re on the topic, what’s your opinion of romance in the hospitality industry? Is it a blessing or a burden? SP: I’m the worst person to comment on that. I don’t think it’s productive for the business at all. When I met my wife, I tried to resist doing anything about it for a long timeÂ… AS: Â…about 4.5 days. SP: (Laughs) No! It was months, it was months. What I mean is, there are no extra people at a restaurant-so if someone’s there, they’re kind of important, and if they’re not there, it’s a problem. That’s why I don’t think it’s usually a good idea. AS: When it’s good, it’s good. When the staff is dating and in love with each other and are feeling sexy, it’s a great atmosphere, the easiest ship to direct. When one little chip falls out of place, it’s all over, and you really have no control over it [as a restaurant manager]. Inevitably, things happen.


What’s next for Andolini’s and Sauce? Do you see these as brands, maybe expanding outside of Andover into Boston and beyond? AS: I can’t imagine replicating Andolini’s. That space and its relationship to the town is special; it’s been a restaurant for 50 years. SP: I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants, and I wouldn’t want to cheapen [Andolini’s] by replicating it five times over. But Sauce has the potential to expand. Maybe not Boston yet, but probably somewhere south of Andover. I think my brother-in-law has the Boston restaurant scene pretty much covered, so if there was going to be any involvement there, it would be more helping him with something already established rather than us venturing out on our own.


What are some of your favorite North Shore restaurants? Any hidden gems? AS: There’s a little fish market in Chelmsford called Fishbones. They do a really good job-everything is nice and fresh, and the buildout is great. It’s a solid spot. SP: I’m a big fan of the Sol Bean Cafe on 114 in Middleton. It’s very healthy and natural-just phenomenal.


And on your own menus? SP: The penne with sausage and peas at Andolini’s, and our 3B (bacon, Boursin cheese, and Buffalo sauce) burger at Sauce. AS: The spaghetti tomato basil at Andolini’s, and the American Cheeseburger at Sauce. (Petra, Adrienne’s 7-year-old daughter, quietly nudges her mom and whispers in her ear) AS: (smiles at Petra) She said she loves everything. But she’s definitely a wing fan.


Andolini’s and Sauce restaurants can be found at 19 Essex Street in Andover, or at and GuestFeed, Spiro’s hospitality-focused social media services, can be found at or on Twitter at @GuestFeed.