Baltimore needs more people like the Dogwood's owners

March 26, 2013

In reading Dan Rodricks' column on the Dogwood Restaurant's closing last week, I felt compelled to write and thank him for bringing to light the restaurant and the good deeds that have come to an end ("Dogwood made a difference in lives," March 21). It's not just about Baltimore losing yet another business. Being the office manager and working with owners Galen and Bridget Sampson over the last short year has been the greatest job I've ever held. They are two of the most honorable people I have had the pleasure of knowing.

It was a painful decision to close the doors for Galen, but growing competition in the area took a toll over time. What they accomplished in the few short years is so much more than most businesses can say in a lifetime of being open for business. The Sampsons are living proof that business owners can make a difference in the lives of local people while working hard at their trade. Their apprenticeship program to train those out of rehab or jail in the culinary arts and lenient hiring practices for the same group was a great success, and the effects of their good works still live on today.

Tyrone Lewis, one of the original apprentices in the program and mentioned in Mr. Rodricks' article, has become a dear friend of mine, still in the restaurant business and clean and sober. There are so many other stories of success that have come from the good works of The Dogwood. Yes, the business is closed and something failed, but the social mission concept, I hope, will be alive elsewhere in some business in Baltimore that wants to take a chance just like the Sampsons did. They will continue their mission somewhere in the coming years, I am sure of it — it's in their heart and runs through their blood to help people in need.

We need more Bridgets and Galens in Baltimore. Maybe someone will take note and continue the mission they so valiantly began here. Cheers to The Dogwood and the Sampsons. Job well done. You will be sorely missed.

Margaret Konstantas, Towson

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.