"I believe in the power and the practice of hospitality, and that it can transform the world one small act at a time."

–sava farah, founder/ceo, SavCo 

We deliver hospitality with both integrity and gratitude, with trust in ourselves, our teammates and our guests, and in the spirit of cultivating family and community. To every human who walks through our doors, and through the collection of moments we create and share together, we say—'We got you!'

 
 
 

Meet the SavCo team

 
 Sava Farah started early, and she started fast. After emigrating from Albania to The Bronx at age 5, having crossed what was then the Yugoslavian border on foot with her family, Sava immediately connected with her inner hustle. Reinforced by her Albanian roots, she blended opportunity, work ethic, trust and gratitude into an enthusiasm for hospitality—a combination that organically sent her straight into her first restaurant job at age 13.  After 10 years working every restaurant position and from every angle, Sava set her already well-honed entrepreneurial sights on Ann Arbor. Her first restaurant in town, Sava’s, has since grown from its original 23-seat café to the full-service, 300-seat restaurant it is today. Sava added a marketplace concept in 2011, a second restaurant, Aventura, in 2014, both a commissary kitchen and a catering and events company in 2015, and a third restaurant concept is in development for Early 2019—all under the organizational umbrella of her thriving management company, SavCo.

Sava Farah started early, and she started fast. After emigrating from Albania to The Bronx at age 5, having crossed what was then the Yugoslavian border on foot with her family, Sava immediately connected with her inner hustle. Reinforced by her Albanian roots, she blended opportunity, work ethic, trust and gratitude into an enthusiasm for hospitality—a combination that organically sent her straight into her first restaurant job at age 13.

After 10 years working every restaurant position and from every angle, Sava set her already well-honed entrepreneurial sights on Ann Arbor. Her first restaurant in town, Sava’s, has since grown from its original 23-seat café to the full-service, 300-seat restaurant it is today. Sava added a marketplace concept in 2011, a second restaurant, Aventura, in 2014, both a commissary kitchen and a catering and events company in 2015, and a third restaurant concept is in development for Early 2019—all under the organizational umbrella of her thriving management company, SavCo.

Sava Farah

Founder & CEO

 Bree grew up in Superior Township, Michigan, graduated Wayne State University and immediately started heading west in hot pursuit of food, wine and writing. Grad school in Chicago and her first experience in fine dining sent her to Las Vegas, then to Napa Valley, where working for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group led her into the California wine industry. Eight years later, and after time spent directing marketing teams for famed Napa wine brands, Harlan Estate, BOND Estates and Favia-Erickson Winegrowers, Bree returned home to re-set her roots and apply her accrued skills to a new set of challenges.  Bree is thrilled, daily, to assist in growing the reach and influence of SavCo’s unique approach to both hospitality and organizational design, and to help continually identify strategic opportunities and partnerships on every horizon. She’s also beyond smitten with her family of men (three little, one big) and dogs, and practices gratitude for all of the above regularly and often.

Bree grew up in Superior Township, Michigan, graduated Wayne State University and immediately started heading west in hot pursuit of food, wine and writing. Grad school in Chicago and her first experience in fine dining sent her to Las Vegas, then to Napa Valley, where working for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group led her into the California wine industry. Eight years later, and after time spent directing marketing teams for famed Napa wine brands, Harlan Estate, BOND Estates and Favia-Erickson Winegrowers, Bree returned home to re-set her roots and apply her accrued skills to a new set of challenges.

Bree is thrilled, daily, to assist in growing the reach and influence of SavCo’s unique approach to both hospitality and organizational design, and to help continually identify strategic opportunities and partnerships on every horizon. She’s also beyond smitten with her family of men (three little, one big) and dogs, and practices gratitude for all of the above regularly and often.

bree stilwell

Marketing & Business Development Director

 Janelle moved to Ann Arbor from the west side of the state in 2012 to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan. She was hired as a server at Sava’s in a matter of days, working part-time while completing her Masters in Social Work.  After graduation, Janelle kept one foot in the SavCo door while exploring work in the non-profit sector, unable to resist the culture, people and fast-paced environment she had come to love so much. She joined the Sava's management team full-time in 2015, rising to General Manager at Aventura soon after. In 2018, Janelle moved into her SavCo dream job, Team Development Manager, allowing her to engage with, coach, develop and nurture the lives of all SavCo employees while utilizing her community organizing roots to enhance SavCo’s public reach. Oh! And in 2017, she married the bus boy she fell in love with as a server at Sava's and they have the most perfect pup named Rutabaga!

Janelle moved to Ann Arbor from the west side of the state in 2012 to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan. She was hired as a server at Sava’s in a matter of days, working part-time while completing her Masters in Social Work.

After graduation, Janelle kept one foot in the SavCo door while exploring work in the non-profit sector, unable to resist the culture, people and fast-paced environment she had come to love so much. She joined the Sava's management team full-time in 2015, rising to General Manager at Aventura soon after. In 2018, Janelle moved into her SavCo dream job, Team Development Manager, allowing her to engage with, coach, develop and nurture the lives of all SavCo employees while utilizing her community organizing roots to enhance SavCo’s public reach. Oh! And in 2017, she married the bus boy she fell in love with as a server at Sava's and they have the most perfect pup named Rutabaga!

janelle zini

Team Development Director

 Adrienne grew up with a mother who was an amazing cook—the perfect excuse for never having to learn. Until, that is, she discovered an inability to even scramble eggs once she left home for college. While at Eastern Michigan University, finishing her degree in Biology with a Chemistry minor (still working on her scramble), Adrienne discovered the beautiful internet world of food blogs and was immediately determined to learn how to really cook. Her experimentations yielded quickly to her own food blog, Appetites Anonymous, where she shares recipes, food photography, and adorable pictures of her dog, Montana.  Adrienne joined SavCo in 2018, making the jump from marketing in the biomedical industry to something far closer to her heart, while also bringing another level of creativity and task-mastery to the SavCo marketing department. Adrienne has never broken a bone, despite being a SCUBA Divemaster and outdoor enthusiast, and hopes to someday have a few kids with her husband!

Adrienne grew up with a mother who was an amazing cook—the perfect excuse for never having to learn. Until, that is, she discovered an inability to even scramble eggs once she left home for college. While at Eastern Michigan University, finishing her degree in Biology with a Chemistry minor (still working on her scramble), Adrienne discovered the beautiful internet world of food blogs and was immediately determined to learn how to really cook. Her experimentations yielded quickly to her own food blog, Appetites Anonymous, where she shares recipes, food photography, and adorable pictures of her dog, Montana.

Adrienne joined SavCo in 2018, making the jump from marketing in the biomedical industry to something far closer to her heart, while also bringing another level of creativity and task-mastery to the SavCo marketing department. Adrienne has never broken a bone, despite being a SCUBA Divemaster and outdoor enthusiast, and hopes to someday have a few kids with her husband!

adrienne brady

Marketing & Media Manager

 Taylor’s education and career path began with good old-fashioned 'foodie' passion and an interest in becoming a chef. A stint as a baker and mixer at Zingerman’s changed his course, when cooking all day started to nibble away at the creative outlet he yearned for. While studying Photography at Washtenaw Community College, Taylor’s interests and passions were immediately diverted into pursuing Graphic Design as a career. A server at Sava’s while completing his coursework, Taylor began designing menus and signage, quickly moving into a full-time role as graphic designer for SavCo Hospitality as a whole.  One of our most senior team members, Taylor tirelessly pushes the envelope on the aesthetic identity and representation of SavCo's entire suite of businesses, always hungry for new skills and the ways in which they can be best applied. Taylor still loves to cook, and is fueled by hiking, nature, photography and a variety of coffee beverages.

Taylor’s education and career path began with good old-fashioned 'foodie' passion and an interest in becoming a chef. A stint as a baker and mixer at Zingerman’s changed his course, when cooking all day started to nibble away at the creative outlet he yearned for. While studying Photography at Washtenaw Community College, Taylor’s interests and passions were immediately diverted into pursuing Graphic Design as a career. A server at Sava’s while completing his coursework, Taylor began designing menus and signage, quickly moving into a full-time role as graphic designer for SavCo Hospitality as a whole.

One of our most senior team members, Taylor tirelessly pushes the envelope on the aesthetic identity and representation of SavCo's entire suite of businesses, always hungry for new skills and the ways in which they can be best applied. Taylor still loves to cook, and is fueled by hiking, nature, photography and a variety of coffee beverages.

taylor higgins

Lead Designer

 Maggie grew up in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York and discovered a passion for hospitality with her first café job at age 15. After completing her undergraduate degree in anthropology, Maggie returned to restaurants while pursuing her master’s in Food Culture from NYU and as an opening team member (then Maître d' and Manager) at Union Square Hospitality Group's Maialino. Maggie’s career continued to develop with roles as Research/Production Assistant for the Cooking Channel show “Unique Sweets” followed by Special Projects Manager and Assistant to Chef Eric Ripert at NYC’s three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin. Maggie moved to Michigan with her boyfriend Zach when he got a teaching job at Albion College in the theatre department and joined SavCo shortly after.  Whether it's during an interview or at new-hire orientation, Maggie’s goal is to make people feel relaxed, encouraged, and inspired to join the SavCo family in delivering exceptional hospitality to everyone who comes through our doors.

Maggie grew up in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York and discovered a passion for hospitality with her first café job at age 15. After completing her undergraduate degree in anthropology, Maggie returned to restaurants while pursuing her master’s in Food Culture from NYU and as an opening team member (then Maître d' and Manager) at Union Square Hospitality Group's Maialino. Maggie’s career continued to develop with roles as Research/Production Assistant for the Cooking Channel show “Unique Sweets” followed by Special Projects Manager and Assistant to Chef Eric Ripert at NYC’s three-Michelin-starred Le Bernardin. Maggie moved to Michigan with her boyfriend Zach when he got a teaching job at Albion College in the theatre department and joined SavCo shortly after.

Whether it's during an interview or at new-hire orientation, Maggie’s goal is to make people feel relaxed, encouraged, and inspired to join the SavCo family in delivering exceptional hospitality to everyone who comes through our doors.

maggie jennings

Training & HR Manager

 
 Maria certainly traveled the furthest to find her SavCo family—all the way from Tucuman, Argentina. Born and raised in Tucuman, with a Bachelors in Business Administration from Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Maria was literally wooed to the Ann Arbor area by the very lucky man now her husband. After completing a business certificate at Washtenaw Community College and then an MBA with an HR concentration at Eastern Michigan University, Maria worked for EMU, the City of Ann Arbor, and most recently at Domino's corporate office as a Shared Services associate on the HR team.  In addition to travel, Maria loves good food—as is requisite for all our SavCo team members, of course. Maria is a new mom to Felix, and regularly regales us with stories and photos of her daily delights, and much to our collective enjoyment. Maria's dedication to the well-being of our SavCo family, both logistically and emotionally, benefits our entire organization as a whole… as does her hand-imported supply of dulce de leche!

Maria certainly traveled the furthest to find her SavCo family—all the way from Tucuman, Argentina. Born and raised in Tucuman, with a Bachelors in Business Administration from Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Maria was literally wooed to the Ann Arbor area by the very lucky man now her husband. After completing a business certificate at Washtenaw Community College and then an MBA with an HR concentration at Eastern Michigan University, Maria worked for EMU, the City of Ann Arbor, and most recently at Domino's corporate office as a Shared Services associate on the HR team.

In addition to travel, Maria loves good food—as is requisite for all our SavCo team members, of course. Maria is a new mom to Felix, and regularly regales us with stories and photos of her daily delights, and much to our collective enjoyment. Maria's dedication to the well-being of our SavCo family, both logistically and emotionally, benefits our entire organization as a whole… as does her hand-imported supply of dulce de leche!

maria florencia santana

Payroll & HR Compliance Specialist

 
 

 

our legacy

We're so proud of how far we've come, 
and we couldn't be more excited about where we're headed

 
2007
Sava's Opens

Delighting guests of all walks for over ten years, Sava's is a beloved Ann Arbor institution. Offering modern and fresh American cuisine with Mediterranean inspirations in a spacious, energetic and beautifully designed
dining space.

babo Opens
2011 – 2017

Babo was our adventure in grocering! Our downtown market that let you tap in the local food community, while also being the go-to destination for delicious hot or deli-style meal, a glass of wine, or a steaming cup of locally-roasted coffee.

Aventura Opens
2013

Aventura delights all the senses with modern Spanish tapas, deeply authentic and world-renowned paella, progressive cocktails and wines, all within a dynamically restored historic storefront.

tavolina opens
2015 – 2018

From tailgates to dream weddings, Tavolina brought the flavors our restaurants directly to our guests’ tables, and with true SavCo style and passion. Thank you, Ann Arbor, for allowing us to cater to your every whim!

wine spectator award
2017

Sava’s was honored with our first Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2017! Our wine list, curated by our extraordinary Sommelier, Kelsey Wonsavage, is one among a select group recognized at this level.

tavolina opens
2018

Wikipaella, an organization dedicated to the recognition and promotion of authentic paella, has officially recognized Aventura as one of just two restaurants in North America as an authentic purveyor of Paella!

Dixboro House
coming 2019

Honoring 100+ years of restaurant history on seven creekside acres in the Village of Dixboro, Dixboro House honors the unique charm and heritage of country hospitality in the Midwest. An experience you'll love...
a place you'll remember.