Meritage welcomes new culinary expert

Popular brunch spot to offer seasonal menu updates
Joel Medina will take the reins as corporate culinary manager at Meritage Hospitality Group. Courtesy photo.

A hospitality company that got its start with hotels and a fast food franchise is welcoming a new team member.

Food and beverage industry veteran Joel Medina will take the reins as corporate culinary manager at Meritage Hospitality Group, a Grand Rapids company that owns several Wendy’s, Taco John’s, Stan’s Tacos and Morning Belle restaurants in Grand Rapids and several other states throughout the country.

“We are on the cusp of some very exciting developments, and it is my goal to contribute to Stan’s and Morning Belle in ways that help us anticipate the future and expand the brands as far as we believe they can go,” said Medina who has more than 25 years of culinary experience in a variety of cuisine including Italian, Mexican, international, classic French, steakhouses, airline catering, food brokerage, casual and fine dining. He was inspired to join Meritage Hospitality Group because he wanted to use his career experience to bring his love for food and customer service to the company.

According to a spokesperson for the company Morning Belle will be rolling out seasonal menu updates in the coming quarters and Medina will be adding to, as well as reworking, the restaurant’s menu going forward.

“We are thrilled to have Joel join our team, Morning Belle has been a local favorite since 2019 and Joel’s expertise comes at the perfect time as we look to update our core menu offerings and elevate our playfully sophisticated brand, “said Mike Thorp, Manager of Operations.

Morning Belle features a bright, floral atmosphere with white brick and shiplap walls, warm cedar accents, vibrant garden fabrics, and fresh plants. The restaurant offers several made to order items, both healthy and indulgent, and a drink menu centered around house made mimosas.

“I am looking forward to using what I have learned throughout my career to bring my love for food and customer service to Meritage,” said Medina.

Morning Belle has several locations throughout Grand Rapids that are open daily from 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Breton Village, 1962 Breton Road SE; 1600 E Beltline Ave. NE; and 434 Bridge St NW.



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