When Preston Moss joined Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency nearly 40 years ago, one of his first clients was a young restaurateur named Kevin Goldsmith. While Augusta diners know Goldsmith as the visionary behind the thriving Takosushi empire, at the time he had just opened the Green Scallion, a small dining spot at the corner of Broad and Seventh streets where downtown workers could grab a plate of deep-fried teriyaki style chicken wings or quiche and a salad for under three bucks. Goldsmith was one of the first chefs to locate a restaurant downtown after the flight of retail that followed the opening of the malls in the late 1970s. A financially driven decision, he admits. It was the only space he could afford.
A few years after he launched the Green Scallion, Goldsmith expanded, opening the eponymously named Goldsmith’s Casual Cuisine and also Pullman Hall, a repurposed 1852 train depot that housed his company headquarters, wine cellar, catering kitchen, and special event space. By 2005, when Goldsmith opened the first of his six Takosushi restaurants, his reputation as an inventive chef and savvy entrepreneur was cemented. And through all the growth, all the increased risk, all the changes in insurance coverage needs, Preston Moss was by his side, from fresh-faced young agent to, four decades later, president of Blanchard and Calhoun’s insurance brokerage. When Pullman Hall was destroyed by fire last month, Goldsmith turned to Moss, his long-time agent and advisor, to process the claim; but he also turned to Moss, his long-time friend, to help process the emotional loss of the beloved historic structure.
Within days of the fire, Takosushi posted a photo of a grinning Goldsmith, preparing a batch of smoked salmon belly – “not going to let a little fire interrupt our business!” That’s the peace of mind that comes from having great customers, great friends, and a great insurance agent in your corner.