Raised on a farm and cattle ranch in the San Joaquin Valley of California, Executive Chef Sean Gafner was born into a great appreciation for high quality food. Serving tables in Sacramento as a young adult, Sean quickly realized that he loved the creative, high-energy restaurant industry. Upon graduating from Golden State Culinary Institute in 2000 with honors his mission was to work in a wide variety of cuisines to broaden his palette and expertise and he did so at The Country Club of Mobile AL, PF Chang’s China Bistro, City Treasure French-Italian Cuisine, Celestine’s Caribbean Restaurant and Bella Bru European Café. As Executive Chef of Sacramento landmark restaurants Celestine’s and Bella Bru, Sean made several appearances on TV show’s such as Good Day Sacramento, Chef’s Challenge, and Breakfast at Your Place. In 2006 the love of the North State led Sean to accept both the position of Executive Chef at Tierra Oaks Country Club and Instructor of Culinary Arts at Shasta College in Redding, CA. As a passionate restaurant designer and consultant he opened the Stirring Café in 2011, Wrapped Inc. in 2012 before taking over as the Executive Chef & Partner of Redding’s finest restaurant View 202. Sean and his wife Rebecca have also owned a high-end catering business since 2000, while managing to have four beautiful children Skylar, Caleb, Ryder and Hailey.
After their first visit, the Gafners quickly fell in love with the city of Longmont and couldn’t be more excited to put some roots down in the beautiful state of Colorado!
Alishia is a Boulder County native and wouldn’t want to call anywhere else home. While earning a Humanities degree at CU Boulder, she quit her job in medical billing and moved to Longmont. In August 2000, Alishia started waiting tables and tending bar at the neighborhood pizza place, trying to meet new people and learn something new. It didn’t take her long to realize that the restaurant industry was exactly where she belonged.
Over 20 years later, Alishia has extensive experience in bars and restaurants, with most of that time spent working in small, independent, and Colorado-grown concepts.
Passionate about people and art, she believes that a great meal might just be the best expression of bringing those two things together. She’s proud to be a part of this community that so strongly supports independent business and all things local.
When she’s not working at the restaurants, Alishia can be found hiking or camping with her two kids, Liam and Fiona, daydreaming about her next trip to Belize, or at Happy Hour with a gin cocktail in hand.
Growing up in Maryland, Matt, at a young age realized his love for the outdoors and adventure. While attending college in western Maryland he had an opportunity to learn the craft of bartending at a local tavern that incorporated great beer and live music. Upon graduating with a degree in adventure sports and management he quickly decided that Colorado was where he should be. Chasing big rapids and steep mountains he ended up in Crested Butte, Colorado. It was here he that continued pursuing his passions, the outdoors, craft cocktails, and hospitality. While living in small town Crested Butte he started realizing the importance of local goods. Whether it be local beer, crops, or cattle, he knew sustainability was a huge priority.
Matt started with Gafner Hospitality Group in 2015 shortly after we opened our first concept, The Roost. After many years of bartending and managing at all of our concepts he joined our team of directors.
Today he oversees our bar programs across all our concepts but also is very passionate about creating sustainable growth for Gafner Hospitality Group through innovation, and leadership development.
When he is not at our concepts you can find him enjoying all Colorado has to offer with his wife Heather, and their two children Jaxon, and Avery.
After graduating Le Cordon Bleu, Leslie landed at Emeril’s Fish House at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. He also held positions at the high profile Lake Las Vegas Como’s under Chef Stephen Romeo and Joseph Keller and at the Sugarbrook Bakery & Café and Havasu Skybox in Lake Havasu City, AZ. Driven by a passion for organic, local, GMO-free food and for a desire to bring his family to a close-knit community, Leslie moved to Longmont and worked in Boulder as the Sous Chef at The Greenbriar Inn for 3 years before becoming the Executive Chef at Zeal on Pearl Street for the last four years. While in Longmont, he and his fiancé Ali also added two beautiful daughters, Evelyn and Delilah, to their family, joining siblings Alyssa and Conor. Leslie is excited to bring his experience back to the Longmont Community and help level up the culinary experience people can have here.
Jordan has been working in restaurants since 2004 and is the definition of quality customer service in the food and beverage industry. He met his wife in a restaurant more than ten years ago and they now have a son (Xavier) and a daughter (Zaia). When he isn’t managing at the Roost, Jordan loves frisbee golf, sports and spending time with his family (including his pup Lola). The entire Suniga family loves the Roost, especially the rooftop in summer, and is so excited for Jordan’s adventure at the Roost.
Former bootlegger, race car driver, and 3 gun champion, Tyler Thackaberry has been on a lifelong quest to be the raddest dude ever.
Born and raised in Colorado, Tyler cut his teeth in fine dining from a very young age. His love of red meat and dark liquor brought him east to Longmont in 2016 and he has been with The Roost ever since. An avid hunter and angler, Tyler has an obsession for sustainable local food as well as a fascination with all things whiskey. Thus far he has spent almost five years with our company, and is looking forward to the years to come. “I couldn’t imagine myself working anywhere else.”
In his free time, you’ll find him up a mountain stream, stuck in the mud, or deep in the forest, looking for dinner.
Dom has been in the dining industry ever since he can remember. Growing up and working in his Uncle and Aunt’s Mexican restaurant in southern Colorado, he moved to Boulder to attend college, and has lived in or around Longmont ever since. He developed a love for craft beer, cocktails, and food while exploring and working along the front range, and loves to spend days going out with friends and trying new food, beverages, and experiences along the way. In his free time you can find him hanging out at home cooking or eating charcuterie boards with his girlfriend, Amanda, and his two dogs, Renly and Ernie or playing golf (poorly) at most of the local courses.
Jordan has spent most of her life in Longmont, Colorado, but is a California girl at heart. She started in the service industry when she was only thirteen years old. Jordan quickly developed a love for customer service. Throughout the years this industry has been a home to her. On top of serving tables, she has extensive experience with catering and coordinating events. When Jordan isn’t at Swaylo’s, she is spending time with her boyfriend, Dillon, and their two dogs Kona and Beau. Jordan loves enjoying a glass of malbec or pinot grigio, reading books, baking delicious desserts, petting baby cows, and anything related to true crime. You might spot her frolicking around town with those closest to her. She loves to entertain guests whether it’s at work or in her own home. No matter what, she is always putting her loved ones first. If you’re lucky, she might even bake you your favorite treat!
Meet Carlos, our Executive Chef and one of the longest standing employees. Carlos worked his way up from line cook to lead line, sous chef, and finally the head of our kitchen. He’s trained in various cuisines from around the world, and has worked at acclaimed restaurants in Colorado, including Bloom and 24 Karat Bistro, CV Potts Brewing, and La Odiseo Italian.
Carlos is known for his dedication to the utmost quality of food and his “yes” attitude towards accommodating guests’ requests. He takes pride in ensuring that every dish meets our high standards, and he’s committed to providing an unforgettable culinary experience for our guests.
With Carlos as our Executive Chef, our guests can expect nothing but the best. His attention to detail, passion for quality, and dedication to customer service make him an invaluable member of our team.
Our goal is to be a great company to work for. Our plan is to address every negative stigma about restaurant work until people in our industry understand the real value in the work we do. We believe that inviting people into a comfortable environment, feeding them, hosting them as they celebrate life’s greatest moments, as well as gathering through life’s most difficult moments, is an important and honorable way to spend a life.
We’re committed to never stop applying pragmatic innovation that allows us to pay people working in every position of our restaurants the salary they deserve. As well as paying above industry salaries, every employee shares in the profit we make through quarterly bonuses, received paid time off, an employer-matched 401(k)-retirement plan, free memberships to multiple local gyms, free therapy sessions, free chiropractic adjustments, and many other company perks. Learn more at GafnerGroup.com