The Whaling Company Story
The current owner, Stephen York, opened The Whaling Company in the summer of 1980. The corporate name then was Continental Restaurant Systems owned by Ralston Purina. There has only been one Whaling Company ever built. Thru the late 1970’s to early 1990’s the corporation expanded to almost one hundred restaurants with names like Mountain Jacks and Hungry Hunter. Vickie Barbour, who joined with Stephen to buy the business in 2007, is a Hampton native and she was involved in opening the Mountain Jacks in Hampton in 1979.
Throughout the decades The Whaling Company was left somewhat alone by the corporate changes and corporate raiders. On July 04, Independence Day, 2007 Stephen and Vickie were able to buy the business and free The Whaling Company from corporate hands. We can now proudly say we are locally owned and employee operated. One of our original menus is framed in the foyer. It’s as much a relic as our décor. During the Covid lost-year our lease expired and Vickie chose to leave us. Our entire Team now is committed to keeping our business alive and well for each other and our valued guests.
Our longest-running and most accomplished chef, Tony Giallombardo, instilled pride and devotion to our quality for over 25 years since 1987. His beautiful wife, Mindy, now runs administratively the entire day-part operations. We married off their youngest, Sadie, and in January,2021 she left us for California. She started here as a hostess/bus-girl 8 years ago and became a highly valued waitress.
You will find our people dedicated to the art of hospitality, and most stay with us for years. One of our long-term waiters, Mike Boatwright, was on the opening team in 1980. Sadly, over Labor Day weekend, 2011, Mike passed away. Our longest-term waiter, Sonny Gideon, fostered one of our more popular dishes: The Sonny Delight! His son, Eddie, started when he was 15 as a busboy and has worked his way to rival his Dad as one of the most requested waiters. And then there is Ben, the undisputed “most complimented” waiter on Trip Advisor in Williamsburg.
Devasting to all of us here, Sonny passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 07, 2022. (32year W.C. veteran)
Our kitchen also boasts long-term professionals. Mike Mason is our long-term kitchen leader and valued member of our leadership team. Our prep crew, Christina and Terry, have for years now taken great pride in making all our homemade desserts, soups, and sauces. All our long-term kitchen guys play their part: Nate, Skip, James, Mary.
Lynda Levister runs the front-of-house night time operations. And her daughter, Destiny, who started at 15 years old as a bus-girl is attending college and comes back to wait tables whenever she can.
Rounding out our leadership group are the hardest working sisters alive: Victoria and Lisa Breschel, who manage the bar like it was is a family heirloom. Checkout the Williamsburg’s Next Door Neighbors magazine front page article devoted to Victoria’s story.
In Oct of 2021 we added a third-generation employee, Mya (AKA Mini-me): Susan, Amber, and now Mini-me.
Our current story is not complete without naming the few devoted brave men and women who got us thru the terrible 2020 Covid year: Victoria, Lisa, Ben, Mike, Mindy, Lynda, Destiny, Rob, Nate, James, Sean, Dexter, Rebekah, Christina, Terry, Kenny, Skip, Jared, Dayzia, Nancy, Sonny, Eddie, Teresa, Sadie, Amber, Albert, Andrew.