Meet The Owner

Murrell’s Café was founded by Mike Murrell, a leader in the food service industry for more than 25 years. Mike’s career started in Cleveland, Ohio with his first mobile food trailer “Carolina Concessions” at the famous Glenville Festival. Recognizing his love for the industry and passion for serving people, Mike moved his family to Durham, North Carolina to pursue his dream of making Carolina Concessions a staple on the large festival and outdoor events circuit.

In 1991, Mike secured his first contract as a regular vendor inside Wallace Wade Stadium at Duke University, still located here with his famous concept: Philly Cheese Steaks, Italian Sausage and Fries. Mike went on to secure contracts at Bowman Gray Stadium for the Winston Cup Auto Racing and the football stadium at his alma mater, Winston-Salem State University. It wasn’t long after that when Mike achieved his dream, securing a multi-year agreement to be the exclusive food and beverage provider for events at the football stadium and basketball arena at the college where he received his graduate degree, North Carolina A&T State University. His goal of creating a family-owned business—and a legacy—in his home state was being realized. Over the next several years, Mike also secured contracts at South Carolina State University and North Carolina Central University.

In 1993, Mike was at the table for a pre-bid conference in the City of Winston-Salem, NC to secure the City of Winston-Salem Coliseum contract when he met and quickly built a relationship with the CEO of Volume Services, the largest foodservice provider for NFL and Major League Baseball stadiums, including New York Yankee Stadium, producing revenues in excess of $40 million dollars a year. After consulting with the company, Mike went on to become the Regional Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region. In this role, Mike thrived, producing revenues of $38 million. His region included several large accounts, including the NFL’s Carolina Panther Stadium in Charlotte, NC, Clemson University Stadium, Bilo Center, Blockbuster Amphitheater in Charlotte, Florence Civic Center, Cobb Galleria, Augusta Civic Center, Myrtle Beach Convention Center, North Charleston Coliseum and Durham Bulls.  Over the next six years, Mike worked diligently with team owners and clients, providing best-in-class service, maintaining his own company separately while undertaking his new role.

He decided to relocate to Atlanta, GA and secured a contract in Anderson, SC for the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Complex. Later, Mike purchased his first restaurant, the Morris Street Tea Room. He went on to secure a three-year contract at Norfolk State University and later, the contract at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, GA, home of the Atlanta Beat Women Professional Soccer Team and Morris Brown College Football.

In 2003, Mike decided to pursue the opening of another restaurant and saw an opportunity on the campus of Morris Brown College at Scholars, overlooking the beautiful city of Atlanta. Mike particularly valued Morris Brown’s rich history in the community and the city, and saw a great chance to serve alumni and friends.  Initially, his dream of opening a restaurant at Scholars didn’t work out, and  Mike ended up opening his second restaurant in downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street. After a few years, though, his wish to open Scholars became a reality. Murrell’s Café @ Scholars opened its doors on January 7, 2008; securing a contract to serve the students of Morris Brown College and the general public. In 2013, Murrell’s Café moved across the street to the Interdenominational Theological Center, where it serves the same great soul food—at the same great value—to ITC students and general public.

The hallmark of all of Mike’s businesses, including Murrell’s Café is and always will be excellence in customer service. The Murrell Group with Carolina Concessions, Divine Affairs Catering and Murrell’s Café all operate based on Mike’s own values of quality, service, value, responsiveness and respect. We invite you to come experience the difference and try out Murrell’s Café today.