Brooks and his dad, David Kirchheimer, are co-owners and co-founders of the Kimball Junction flagship restaurant Hearth and Hill, plus Hill’s Kitchen and Leave Room for Dessert Eateries. Brooks and David view their restaurant team as an extension of their family and abide by the motto: “Inspire our associates, thrill our guests, and enrich our community.”
Brooks explains why taking care of the team comes first. “My dad always says, ‘Inspire our associates is number one because, without them, the other two don’t happen,’” he explains.
Perks like health insurance for full-time employees, 401-K for all employees, free employee meals, and employee parties, make Leave Room for Dessert Eateries an optimal work environment.
“We try to make it a place where people enjoy working and support them,” Brooks states. “We’ve been trying to build a strong culture for people to work in since day one.”
The focus on taking care of staff has contributed to Hearth and Hill thriving, despite the global pandemic. Even though Hearth and Hill isn’t yet four years in business, it’s already undergone a brand expansion. In March of 2022, Brooks and David launched Kimball Junction-based Hill’s Kitchen to respond to booming business.
“It’s literally two doors down from Hearth and Hill. We call it a café and catering kitchen,” Brooks explains, “We had been doing a lot of catering out of Hearth and Hill since day one. We didn’t have enough room anymore… Plus, we have a really talented pastry chef, Jessie Rae, and we want her to have some space where she can spread her wings.”
At half the size of Hearth and Hill, the majority of Hill’s Kitchen is kitchen space to meet the growing demand for catering. The café features Salt Lake-based Publik coffee, grab-and-go treats, fresh pastries, custom cakes, smoothies, and frozen items.
The next Save Room for Dessert concept, Urban Hill, is scheduled to open in October in Salt Lake’s Post District development. Urban Hill will be the largest restaurant yet, with about 200 seats and an additional 80 on the patio. The second Hearth and Hill location will open this winter in Sugar House’s Sugar Alley development.
The flourishing restaurants are a testament to the creative and delectable menu items. The combination of ingredients and options can satisfy a variety of eaters, from omnivores to vegans to gluten intolerant folks. Local ingredients amplify the dishes. And Brooks is quick to cast the spotlight.
“I really give kudos to our Culinary Director, Jordan Harvey, who has been with us since day one,” Brooks exclaims. “He’s over the years developed these great relationships,” Brooks says of Jordan’s efforts to connect the restaurant with local food purveyors.
Ingredients from local growers, bakers, and artisans like Ranui Gardens, Red Bicycle Breadworks, Intermountain Gourmet, Park City Creamery, Good Grains Baking Company, and Gracie’s Farm lends to delectable dishes while enriching the community.
It’s been less than four years since Brooks and David launched Hearth and Hill and since Brooks started living out his dream to be a restauranteur. Dedication to employees, stellar food, and commitment to the community are the attributes that helped Hearth and Hill grow to include Hill’s Kitchen and the Save Room for Deserts brand.