Our Family


Jody Manor
Jody Manor, Owner

Jody has spent over 25 years building Bittersweet into a Old Town institution. prep work for $5 per hour. With a keen eye for innovation and a strong desire for efficiency, he worked to improve the freshness of the product and lower waste and in 1990 purchased the business from the original owners. By 1997 the company had expanded from the tiny take-out and opened our first 30 seat corner cafe - eventually expanding to 90 seats with a fresh food bar and outdoor seating. 2007 saw the purchase of an adjacent catering business and building a 5000 sq. ft. production kitchen and catering office. Along the way we’ve built a staff of 42 dedicated professionals who live innovation and customer service. We are proud of our long time employees; many have been with the company for over 20 years. We believe that taking care of employees leads to happy customers and are proud to provide health and retirement benefits to our staff. You can see more on our business philosophy at the link [here ][1]on the PBS NewsHour "My heartfelt thanks to our many long time customers who've supported our growth these many years.

Orn Jitwiwat
Orn Jitwiwat, General Manager

Orn is from Bangkok, Thailand and holds a degree in Economics and Management. She started working at Bittersweet in 2004 on the catering sandwich line and her many talents quickly became apparent. She started part time bookkeeping work, then moved on to Comptroller as the company grew quickly. Last year she took on the big responsibility of General Manager - a natural fit for her. She is highly respected by the staff for her willingness to do whatever to get the job done and loves creating new systems that allow our team to better serve our customers. Orn is married and has two children.

Jose Salvador
Jose Salvador, Executive Chef

Jose is known as 'la machina' and started as a line cook at Bittersweet in 1992. After working under several chefs, he took the leap and became our kitchen manager in 2005. He's creative, innovative and loves to wear a hat - which is good for a chef! Jose is a family man with three children and in his spare time likes to spend time with them outdoors. His goal is some day take a very long vacation back to Honduras.

Digna Mejia
Digna Mejia, Assistant Cafe Manager

Digna has been with the company since 1996 starting as a sandwich maker in the old take-out shop before we built the corner café. She hails from Honduras and is married with three wonderful children. On her days off she loves to hang out at the swimming pool and would one day like to own her own business. Digna is well known for her welcoming smile and hearty laugh which makes the café a great spot for regulars and visitors.

Jeffrey Allen
Jeffrey Allen, Catering Sales Manager

A seasoned sales and customer service professional with nearly forty years in the hospitality industry. Jeffrey personifies the traditional ‘work your way up the ladder’ approach, beginning as a dishwasher, then waiter, bartender, manager and for the past twelve years as an Catering Sales Manager for Bittersweet Catering~Café~Bakery. Jeffrey firmly believes in a genuine customer centric approach to maintaining great client relationships. Extensive product knowledge and a passion for food and beverage are the foundation of a great skill set.

Jody Tarbox
Jody Tarbox, Catering Sales Manager

Jody is native to Iowa and is passionate about fresh food and great service. With over 10 years excelling in the restaurant industry, Jody brings a can-do attitude and Midwestern Hospitality – creating menus combined of comfort and new catering trends. After graduating with a B.A. in Communications from the University of Iowa - Jody moved to Old Town, Alexandria where she feels at home in the neighborly community. In true D.I.Y. fashion - Jody rolls up her sleeves to ensure the job is done seamlessly. "My great-grandmother was a caterer out of her own home in the 1950's. Although I never had the chance to meet her - I like to think of what I do as tradition… not just a job."

Tika Rayson
Tika Rayson, Catering Sales Manager

Tika joins our team with already 10 years in the hospitality industry. Her career began at the Embassy Suites as a Human Resources Administrative Assistant. Her dedication was quickly noted and she was promoted to Catering and Conference Manager where she learned all of the diverse event planning processes. Tika is now as thrilled as we are to have her on Team Bittersweet! We know that her “guests best interest at heart” mind set paired with her knowledge and sensibility offers our clients the service and quality that Bittersweet prides itself in.

Patrick Hanbury
Patrick Hanbury, Catering Sales Manager

Patrick moved to our catering team after a start as the Café manager. His skills and experience on both branches of our business make him a stand out Go To Guy for the whole team. Patrick came up in the restaurant business, working both front & back of the house. While passionate about cooking, Patrick’s sociable personality & love of a great party, naturally lends itself to planning your event as a Pro! While Patrick is one of our freshest faces in the office, we’re sure it will be one we see for a long time