We opened a restaurant in North Lawndale (Chicago) about 13 years ago, in partnership with Lawndale Community Church. When we moved into this under-resourced neighborhood, we became the only sit-down restaurant in the area. People had no place to celebrate family birthdays or to have business lunches together. Our mission was to donate all profits back into the community to fund educational and recreational programs for kids.
Well, we have never made a profit!! In the meantime, we have created job training opportunities for many, many men who are putting their lives back together after addiction or incarceration. The store has been a “lighthouse” for other businesses looking to expand in a growing area, and we have seen real estate prices increase dramatically. But in 2009, we believe that, contrary to the economic trends, Malnati’s in Lawndale will become profitable!!
In 2008, we saw sales increase at a faster rate in that store than any other restaurant in our group. Please stop by this year at 3859 W. Ogden (at Cermak) and play a part in this Malnati milestone.