"We never have tried to be like all the other Portuguese & seafood restaurants in the area. We are M&C & we just do what we do."
M&C was opened on January 13, 1967 by my parents Manny and Cathy Mello. It was a small dining room with 6 booths and a 12 seat bar. Both of my parents worked in the mills and they got tired of working for other people so they decided to open up their own business. M&C was one of the first Portuguese restaurants in the city of New Bedford.
In 1974 my parents bought the current building, doubled the size of the restaurant and continued to work hard.
As a kid I worked in the restaurant doing whatever needed to be done, whatever was asked of me.
I graduated from college in 1984 with a BS in environmental science. With no real job opportunities I returned to work in the restaurant. In 1988 I started attending Johnson & Wales college on the weekends and received two AS degrees; 1 in culinary and 1 in baking and pastry arts. After I graduated in 1993 I expanded the restaurants catering side and it has proved very successful throughout the SouthCoast.
We have always believed in using local products from the sea and land. We have always used only fresh fish and seafood from New Bedford--never frozen and never imported from other parts of the country.
We own an 86 acre farm in Acushnet where we used to raise some of the animals used in the restaurant (even ostriches at one point) but without a federally inspected slaughterhouse nearby we had to curtail that portion of the farm.
We pickle our own onions. At one point we were pickling up to 100 bushels of peppers a year to use in one of our signature dishes, carne d' espeto, hence the pepper on our logo. I still make a very hot sauce made from habanero peppers that customers may have as a condiment if they enjoy very hot sauce and this sauce is even available for purchase to use at home.
In November of 2007 we suffered a devastating fire & the restaurant was severely damaged but after 40 years in business we were not ready to give up just yet. For one thing we had employees that needed jobs and many of our employees have worked with us for many years. So after 9 months of rebuilding we rose from the ashes better than ever!