Former Sandy Springs restaurateur Bruce Alterman is using his business acumen to guide other small businesses during the global health crisis. As a volunteer with SCORE, the nonprofit arm of the Small Business Association, he is offering mentoring services to restaurateurs, business owners and those considering opening a business. SCORE is believed to be the nation’s largest network of experienced volunteers, mostly business executives, business owners and retired business executives who want to share their knowledge with others.
“Most people who contact SCORE are just starting out with their business and are seeking direction about where to go next,” Alterman said. “This is my opportunity to help them and share what I’ve learned over my career. All of the people I work with are so appreciative.”
In two weeks alone, despite significant changes in local economies, Alterman said seven of his virtual mentoring sessions have been with people interested in bringing more business to the area, including a couple who want to open a new restaurant.
“Never in a million years would I have dreamed that we would be where we are today,” he said.
Bruce and his wife, Sally, formerly owned and operated The Brickery Grill & Bar. For 24 years, the Sandy Springs institution employed 40 people and served more than 2,000 customers a week. It was a community gathering place with long-term customers. During that time, Bruce was also extremely active in the Sandy Springs community, volunteering with various groups and organizations and serving on the Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism board of directors.
When the couple lost their lease in 2015 and closed The Brickery, they enjoyed retirement for a short while, but Bruce started missing working with the public, helping people and being involved in his community.
He heard about SCORE through his father-in-law, who had volunteered with the organization, and decided to get involved. Through his volunteer work with SCORE, Alterman has mentored more than 100 people in the community, including brothers Bruce and Scott Bogartz, owners of Bogartz Food Artz.