Meet Andy Lane, the owner of Dammi Dammi in downtown Lincoln.
Tell us a little about your business. – Dammi Dammi (www.dammidammi.com) is a cafe and tapas bar serving downtown Lincoln flavorful, wholesome food and beverages influenced and inspired by the cuisines of the Mediterranean region’s 22 countries and their cultures.
How did you get started in the business? – With me finishing my B.A. in Rhetoric in the middle of the pandemic, starting grad school wasn’t looking very appealing. My dad Pat was looking to get out of his career field at the same time, so we decided to make the leap and go into business together. He knew how to manage a business, and I knew my way around coffee and gelato. We added Mediterranean food to bridge the gap with the backing of my family’s cultural history as Sicilian immigrants and restauranteurs on my mom’s side.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – The month of February 2022 as a whole. We not only broke our single-day sales records on three different occasions during the month, but managed to beat out November and December’s monthly grosses by 2/3 of the way through the month, despite it being a short month and the middle of winter.
Tell us a little about your family. – My dad is business partner, my mentor, and my rock. He is a constant source of inspiration and innovation, a sounding board who isn’t afraid to shoot me down when I get off the rails or to build me up when he thinks I’m on the right path, and the hardest-working person I have ever met. My mom and sister are, as of writing this, still in Cheyenne, WY, where we came from, but even from a distance they have been a tremendous source of support as well, not so much in terms of the business but in keeping me and dad sane as we’ve ran ourselves ragged pushing this boulder up the hill, and I can’t wait to have them here.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – My days off belong to the church where I sing in a choir for post-college grads and young professionals. I also enjoy spending time with my amazing girlfriend or taking a nice hot bath with epsom salts.
Who inspires you? – Reynold Poernomo. He was a contestant on MasterChef Australia. At the age of 19, he not only made it onto the show, but into the top six through his extraordinary skill and creativity with desserts. Although he didn’t end up winning, he managed to turn his talents and the publicity he received from the show into a successful pair of dessert bars in Australia.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? – I was a classical and jazz/contemporary pianist for most of my life, and was good enough at it to play at some pretty schmoozy events in high school (including at the Governor’s mansion in Wyoming), as well as receiving some pretty high-tier Guild accolades. Unfortunately, between the hours and the manual work it takes to run a restaurant, I have neither the time nor the hand strength to really keep up with it these days.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – So many books, so little time…I’m a sucker for sci-fi, and so I’m a huge fan of works such as Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card and To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini.