Nancy Goodrich opened her Sandy Springs eatery on March 22, 2005, but it wasn't her first experience in the restaurant business.
She has been in business since she was 16.
"I just loved it...It's a challenge, every day is different," Goodrich said. "Every time I've tried to do something else, it's so boring."
Before she opened Nancy G's at Fountain Oaks shopping center, Goodrich worked at Food 101 across the street. Driving through the parking lot one day, she saw the vacant sign for her future restaurant.
Several restaurants failed at that location before Goodrich arrived.
Finding a great chef has been the key to her success, she said. Chef Khaliq Edwards came along in 2009.
"Good service helps but I think a great chef and quality food has made all the difference in the world to me," she added. "It was a struggle when I first opened."
Goodrich wanted to standout among other restaurnts. She recalled how her sister once couldn't make it to the restaurant because she had to get home to her dogs. And suddenly, the idea came to Goodrich to open up the spacious patio to dogs, so owners and their pets could dine together.
There's even a doggy dining menu.
Goodrich now works with dog rescue groups.
"That was a good little marketing device," she said.
The restaurant serves American cuisine with a Southern twist.
"I wanted to make it homey; like you were coming to my house for dinner," Goodrich said.