Art and Chelsea Jackson are both trained chefs who had a dream of opening their own restaurant.
To help them achieve their dream, they came to SCORE in October 2008 and consulted with SCORE counselor Brian Stinton.
Over a period of nearly three years, Brian worked with Art and Chelsea to develop a business plan, deal with issues related to financing and cash flow management, organize their bookkeeping, and in general prepare them for their great venture.
Finally, in May 2011 Art and Chelsea were able to open their restaurant and catering business in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago (964 W. 31 St Street, which they call Pleasant House Bakery), where they work tirelessly to innovate new products, especially British-style meat pies (“Royal Pies”) and a variety of pastries. In the short time they have been open, their sales have nearly doubled and their restaurant has received critical acclaim in Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Timeout Magazine.
They now have five employees to supplement their own efforts and they continue to grow at a rapid pace. They have even created a subsidiary enterprise which consists of several city lots converted into urban farms where they grow their own produce for use in their business and eventually for sale in other venues such as farmers’ markets.
Brian Stinton continues to meet with and advise them. As Art and Chelsea said: “Our SCORE advisor has been enormously helpful in providing practical knowledge—ranging from sales analyses to business resources—as well as specialized knowledge about matters such as taxes. He also has provided much-appreciated moral support. Overall, the advice we have received has factored greatly in our decision-making and has helped us to steer on a sustainable course.”