Born and raised a Chicago area native, there is nothing like food from home. Chicago style hot dogs, a juicy dipped Italian beef sandwich, with lots of Giardiniera or sweet peppers. A Gyro with extra sauce, a Maxwell Street Polish, or a Pizza Puff, let's not forget the fresh cut fries.
Moving to south Texas at the age of 36 to get my father out of those harsh Chicago winters,not to mention his list of phyiscal aliments that have had him hospitalized over the last few years. I realized you can't get those Chicago favorites here. Sure if you want to make the 85-100 mile trek to San Antonio or Houston, there are a few places offering the favorites, and Chicago style pizza. I have yet to test to see if it meets our standards back home.
I thought Victoria Texas with a population just short of 63,000 in the city alone , could definitely use a Chicago eatery. Food trucks and trailers are a popular way to serve up food favorites here in Texas. the cost is minimal in comparison to a new build out restaurant. Now began the long search for a great trailer. After seeing the used an new models, new was the only way to go. I narrowed the search and finally found the perfect fit in Houston. The trailer is being financed by a fellow restaurant, and food trailer owner. The build process was to begin shortly after we met and the down payment was made, it would be complete in about four weeks. My dad also a Chicago native, agreed to help fund the endeavor, wanting to leave a legacy and recently having sold his home of 30 years. He was then Hospitalized for over 40 days with a massive blood clot and multiple infections. He has since then recovered and has been released. Our savings took a massive hit, during this time.
An error in the paperwork at the startup of the LLC caused a hold up while it was being amended by the state of Texas. While waiting along comes Hurricane Harvey, flexing it's muscles, while it heads up the coast to devastate Houston. The trailer was complete 5 days after Harvey's pass. No paperwork still, meant no Texas Use Tax Permit or business bank account. My lender had a buyer who's business was flooded out in Houston. I agreed to sell my finished trailer to help out the guy that had lost everything. It seemed like the right thing to do being that I was still under delay. The next trailer to be built for the business was scheduled to begin shortly. The second week of October rolls around no word from my lender, I call him, this trailer should be done.
It turns out no such luck the original builder lost employees after the hurricane and it would be 14 weeks till the first of 11 trailers ordered would be complete, so it was picked up at frame stage and taken to a new builder to complete. Meanwhile advertising costs, legal fee's, a lease for the best spot in town being paid so I don't lose it, and the cost of living have taken a toll. My fiance whom is disabled in need of a full knee replacement, that so far the doctor's refuse to do due to her age, ( being too young) has been working hard in the background and has developed back problems stemming from the leg problem according to new doctor's here.
The trailer is do to be complete this coming Friday 10/27 and delivered on 10/28. We have fallen short on a few things needed to open the majority of items already paid for.
The list is not long but a bit costly
1. a 10,000 watt minimum generator, or electrical hookup ( working with a contractor on this currently)
2. A chest freezer
3. A 100 Gallon propane tank Filled and inspected
4. K series fire Extinguishers
5. Pressure Testing for county inspection on Propane lines
6. A wastewater removal contract in place.
7. A Net for any unexpected costs upcoming
This was supposed to be open September 1st, that has long come and passed.
The first month's payment on the trailer will be deferred 30-45 days.
Having worked in the food service industry for over 10 years I know what it takes to bring top notch quality and customer service.
All of our products are shipped from Chicago to have that genuine Chicago style flavor.
Family operated, our long term goal is to move into a full-sized restaurant and to add Italian compliment to the Menu and that famous Chicago Style deep dish and thin crust Pizza. Adding locations in the years to come and to rival the success and notoriety of Lou Malnati's , Portillo's and other Chicago Favorites here in the Texas and across the southwest.
It's been a difficult road if we fall short now there will be thousands let to blow away in the wind, not to mention 4-6 new jobs. Any and all help would be appreciated greatly. We will pay it forward at the first chance we get, small business is the back bone of every community. Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this story. God bless and be great in all that you do.
S.I.L. MAZUR LLC
dba CHI-STYLE EAT'Z
A Texas Company