An interview with Kaitlin and Billy Kretsch, owners of Jelly Cafe in Mount Prospect. Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
A: We are a breakfast and lunch restaurant that encompasses the fun and passion of its owners. We hope to bring a modern perspective to traditional breakfast. When opening the restaurant we wanted to make it a fun and inviting atmosphere. With comfortable outdoor seating, fresh flowers on every table and artwork created by local artist; the restaurant was everything we envisioned. As owners and a newly married couple we work great together. We are constantly working to improve the business. We are here everyday. Kaitlin mostly works with the kitchen while expediting; while Billy takes the time to go over to every table to get to know our customers and see how their experience has been.
Jelly CafeAddress: 1784 W. Golf Road, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 Owners: Kaitlin and Billy Kretsch Year business started: 2013
Web address: www.jelly-cafe.com
Q: What made you start your business?
A: Opening this restaurant has been something we have talked about for a while. Kaitlin's family has been in the restaurant business her whole life. It is something I grew up with and is second nature to me. We were recently married in October and with the support of Kaitlin's parents we decided that now would be the perfect time. Before we knew it we had found this great location, quit our jobs and where opening a restaurant.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in starting the business?
A: The most difficult obstacle starting this business was and still is the endless bills.
Q: How did you come up with the name for the business?
A: The name was really important. We wanted something short and easy to remember. We spent countless hours on the computer just researching everything associated with breakfast. There are a lot of great ideas out there but many names are already taken. We came across Jelly and thought it was a great representation of breakfast and lunch. We kept looking for a bit, but always came back to "Jelly." Did some research and found it was available in Illinois and we went for it.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: We enjoy being able to work together the most, and interacting with all our customers.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young?
A: This is something we could always see ourselves doing. When I was young I wanted to be a teacher. I went away to college and earned a teaching degree from SIU. I spent 5 years working at that career, while working at my parent's restaurant at night (Agio Italian Bistro). As for Billy, he was never really sure what he wanted to do. Earning a psychology degree from UIC, Billy went into sales. We decided if we were ever going to get the chance to open a restaurant now would be the time.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Keep it simple. If you try and do everything the quality of your product will suffer. Also, taste everything.
-- Kim Mikus
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