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30th Anniversary this Month

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Greet Guests like its Opening Day

When Jack and his first wife Paula recruited their daughter Aimee and her husband Mike to return to Illinois and help launch a gourmet breakfast and lunch café, they were confident that Egg Harbor Café’s unique brand of friendly service, great food and unique menu would succeed in the Midwest. Aimee and Mike had been called a “rare pair” by John Sullivan, owner of the First Watch in California who served as a consultant on the first menu. Still, no one knew how that success would look. As years passed, the restaurant grew through a combination of creative vision, love and hard work. Thirty years later, with 19 locations, Egg Harbor Café is still a family business, but it now involves three generations of children and grandchildren (including siblings, nieces and nephews).

Egg Harbor Café’s first eggs were cracked in Hinsdale on December 28, 1985. Owner Jack Wright stepped outside for a few minutes that day, watching with excitement and gratitude as cars pulled into the parking lot… and behold, customers were arriving! “Remember that feeling,” Jack counseled the staff, “and always treat guests with the same energy and excitement as if it is opening day.”

Over the past decades, co-owners Aimee and Mike Farrell have built on that core insight. In the early years, Mike used the image of the popular comedy show “Cheers” to coach employees to remember people’s names and their favorite foods, and to “customerize” special orders with a smile. To this day, employee development at Egg Harbor Café remains focused on building creative, cohesive staffs who warmly welcome guests within a few moments of entering the restaurant.

Throughout this 30th anniversary month, we are grateful for having become extended family for so many people, employees and guests, and look forward to celebrating in the days ahead.