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Grove Bay Hospitality Group, led by two FIU alumni, collaborate to provide scholarships for hospitality students
From l to r: Grove Bay partners Eddie Acevedo, Ignacio Garcia-Menocal, MAcc '98, and Francesco Balli, MBA '99

Grove Bay Hospitality Group, led by two FIU alumni, collaborate to provide scholarships for hospitality students

Award-winning restaurant group's $280,000 donation comes just weeks after two of its restaurants are named Florida Michelin star winning restaurants

July 13, 2022 at 10:16am

First came the prestigious Michelin star awarded to two of their restaurants. Now, two FIU alumni and a third business partner, are hoping FIU hospitality students follow in their footsteps — with a kick start in the form of scholarships. 

Grove Bay Hospitality Group announced the launch of the Grove Bay Foundation in partnership with the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Formed with the purpose of providing scholarships to students majoring in hospitality management, the Grove Bay Foundation will donate $280,000 over the next five years to at least 40 students pursuing degrees in the hospitality industry.

Through the establishment of the Grove Bay Hospitality Group Scholarship Fund and more initiatives to come, Grove Bay is furthering its commitment to developing talent in Miami and to fostering a group of future leaders who want to pursue a career in hospitality. Grove Bay is an award-winning restaurant group founded by two FIU alumni; it houses two of Florida’s Michelin-winning restaurants: Stubborn Seed by Jeremy Ford, which earned one star, and Red Rooster Overtown, a recipient of the Bib Gourmand. Most recently, the South Florida Business Journal recognized Grove Bay as one of the year’s “Best Places to Work” in 2022.

“With the hospitality industry hit hard with a labor shortage, we recognized an opportunity to create the Grove Bay Foundation and partner with FIU to provide scholarships to the people of our community who genuinely want to pursue a career in restaurants,” says Ignacio Garcia-Menocal, MAcc '98, CEO and co-founder of Grove Bay Hospitality Group.“Not everyone has the financial means to attend college, and we don’t want that to be the reason someone who is passionate about the hospitality industry cannot further their career.”

“By providing access to a higher education through these scholarships, our hope is that we empower and support the future leaders of our industry and ultimately pour this talent back into our community,” adds Francesco Balli, MBA '99, CEO and co-founder of Grove Bay.

As the 8th best hospitality school in the United States, the Chaplin School offers students both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of hospitality and tourism management specializations, including restaurant and culinary management and food innovations and entrepreneurship.

“Grove Bay Hospitality Group is the epitome of excellence, and we are ecstatic to partner with two FIU alumni, who see the importance and value in giving back to our students and future hospitality leaders, who eventually want to follow in their footsteps,” said Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management.

Each student will receive a $7,000 scholarship, which can cover the cost of in-state tuition for a year. Scholarships will be distributed amongst four students with an interest in “back of the house” (culinary, operations, back office) and four students with an interest in “front of the house” positions (management, operations, hospitality) for a total of eight annual recipients (40 students total will receive scholarships), 

There will also be an opportunity for graduates to apply for a position within Grove Bay Hospitality Group and its many restaurants. As part of its employee training program, preference will be given to current and former employees of Grove Bay, and candidates must be residents of the state of Florida.

Scholarships will start being awarded in Fall 2022 and can be renewed annually. For more information, please visit