Taustin Group is a family owned collection of businesses on Delmarva with corporations both new to the region and with over 80 years of history. Now led by the third generation of owner/operators, we uphold a unified standard of operations, quality, and professionalism across all facets of each enterprise.
Born in New York City, raised and educated in Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, Jay Taustin began his career in the food industry in Ocean City very early having worked in every facet of his uncle Sam Taustin's business ventures since he was 9 years old. From bussing tables, flipping pizzas, and driving the Candy Kitchen delivery truck to more supervisory and managerial duties through his college years, Jay became the second generation to devote his career to the Taustin enterprises. Taking the reigns in the 1990's, Jay expanded and transformed the Embers Restaurant to the famous All You Can Eat Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet, built the Embers Island Miniature Golf Course in 2002, and in 2012 created the very popular BLU Crabhouse and Raw Bar.
Today, Jay not only continues to serve as boots on the ground at the organization but oversees the growth and development of Taustin Group, providing guidance, advice, and expertise founded in over 60 years of experience in the industry.
Some of Cole's earliest memories include stuffing taffy bags with his grandmother at Candy Kitchen and shadowing his father on weekends at the Embers Restaurant. He has been passionate about the hospitality and restaurant industries since his childhood and pursued his degree in Culinary Arts and Entrepreneurship at Johnson and Wales University. For over 10 years Cole has worked along side his father building the family business and now carries on the tradition as CEO of Taustin Group. Cole continues to be an integral part of daily operations at BLU Crabhouse and Pier 23 while also actively seeking opportunities for growth for the company and its team members.
Khari Taustin-Kas is General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer to Taustin Group and its affiliates. While growing up with multiple generations of family in the food service industry, Khari has more recently returned to playing a key advisory role in the family endeavors. Prior to joining the Taustin Companies, Khari served as managing partner of her law firm’s Florida office. With a background in civil litigation representing various financial institutions and transactional work in a variety of small business proficiencies, Khari brings a wealth of corporate, legal, and, managerial experience key to advising members in many areas of the companies' business. Khari earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami with various honors and her Bachelor of Arts Degree (Government & Sociology) from Franklin and Marshall College.
As the Chief Operating Officer for the Taustin Group, Mike’s primary focus is on building the infrastructure and developing the leadership team in order to support the organization's expansion and growth plans. Whether exploring the renovation and expansion of existing properties in the portfolio or additional retail and hospitality opportunities, Mike oversees and upholds a consistent operational standard across all Taustin enterprises.
Mike has more than 35 years of experience in the Foodservice Distribution and Hospitality Industry. He is the former President of Sysco Eastern Maryland (Lankford Sysco) where he also held positions in Marketing, Merchandising, and Sales over his tenure. Prior to Sysco, he held roles with Hyatt, Choice, and Sheraton Hotels in Food & Beverage. Mike is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a B.A. in Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Management.
Since the age of 13, Kyler has worked at all entities of the Taustin Group whether as a host, a server, a cashier, or manager. Currently, Kyler serves as the Director of Marketing, overseeing the public relations, marketing campaigns, and media of Taustin Group and its affiliates. As a graphic designer and photographer, Kyler manages the design and implementation of all print and digital marketing campaigns and is responsible for e-commerce, website management, and merchandising.
In addition, Kyler is the founding the Executive Artistic Director of Brown Box Theatre Project. With this background, he advises Taustin Group on creative and infrastructural matters where property development and/or operations intersect with the entertainment industry.
Jacklyn Hammond has been with the company since 2007 having taken on several different roles at the Embers and BLU Crabhouse. Jacklyn currently serves as office manager of Taustin Group and oversees all day-to-day administrative functions. She is responsible for office procedures including accounts payable/receivable, payroll, and employee files. Jacklyn also provides support to the management and executive teams.
Taustin Group includes 2 of Ocean City's finest restaurants, BLU Crabhouse & Raw Bar and the new Pier 23. Whether having Maryland crabs at BLU or tacos at Pier 23, all Taustin Restaurants guarantee high quality food and exceptional service. Want a taste of Ocean City back at home? Keep an eye out as we prepare to launch a line of your favorite BLU and Pier 23 sauces and spices and shipping services for make-at-home options of your favorite dishes.
Taustin Group engages in property development, short and long term rentals for retail and personal use. With properties in Ocean City, West OC, Berlin, and beyond, stay tuned for up and coming opportunities and offerings.
Whether music and performance at one of our restaurants, private events, or Ocean City's finest miniature golf course, Embers Island, Taustin companies strive to provide high quality, family friendly entertainment.