Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of our groundbreaking. It’s a day I still remember vividly. It was a windy, but sunny and beautiful day. (Remember, this is Indiana, so you never know what you’ll get in March. We were thrilled there was no snow!) The Mayor of Greenwood, our pastor, the architect, the builder and many family members and friends attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
What I remember most about that day was Jonathan’s excitement. Having grown up in the restaurant business, he’d been dreaming about opening his own place since he was 16 years old. Twenty years later, his dream was coming true.
I shared that excitement—his dream had become mine. But I must admit, there was a bit of fear. We’d owned some KFC franchises and we were leaving the “known” (and very established businesses) for the “unknown.” Days later, after the slab was poured, I remember walking it by myself and thinking how big this place was going to be. All I could think was, “What have we done?” It was a great leap of faith.
After 25 years, I’m still amazed—and incredibly grateful—that we’re here. When an owner is no longer part of a business, it often fails. The business felt Jonathan’s departure for some time. Yet today, we’ve rebounded and we’re still excited to be doing what we do. We’ve taken the strong legacy Jonathan left us and built on it in all arms of the business: the dining room, the carryout express and our catering services.
I’m happy to say that I still love being here every day. I have so much fun working the line and talking to customers. It’s not just a business; it’s a ministry. The other day, a regular customer approached me about coping with her husband’s stroke and failing health. I was able to share my own experience and encourage her. And that’s what this place is all about for me. I’m so grateful the Lord allows me to serve in this way. It is truly part of the fabric of my life.
If Jonathan were here to mark this milestone with me, I think he’d be equally excited—and very proud of the staff. He loved this place, our employees and this community. And while he’s not here in person, I sense he’s here in spirit.
Congratulations, Jonathan, on building a business that’s as outstanding as you were!