Lou Malnati's moving headquarters from Northbrook to Buffalo Grove
Lou Malnati's is consolidating its properties in Buffalo Grove in the spring, which includes moving its corporate headquarters out of Northbrook.
The 50-year-old pizza giant is moving to 900-950 Busch Parkway and intends to use the space for a national e-commerce manufacturing plant and fulfillment center, as well as a home office.
Its headquarters currently is in Northbrook at 3685 Woodhead Drive. It has operated there since November 2003, and had a previous Northbrook office on Anthony Trail after moving from Lincolnwood, where it opened in 1971.
"Lou Malnati's has been a great corporate citizen for the community of Northbrook, as well as a chamber member for over two decades," said Tensley Garris, president of the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
"The growth of the company has been exciting to watch. While we will miss having their headquarters in Northbrook, we wish them the best as they make this transition. The Lou Malnati's location in downtown Northbrook (1326 Shermer Road) will continue to be a neighborhood favorite," she said.
Northbrook director of Planning & Development Services, Michaela Kohlstedt, agreed.
"They're great corporate citizens and we understand it was a corporate decision they needed to make, and we wish them all the best," she said.
The move reflects growth in both the brick-and-mortar restaurants and Malnati's Tastes of Chicago e-commerce side. Through Tastes of Chicago, Malnati's partners with other restaurateurs, including Eli's Cheesecake, Vienna Beef, Garrett's Popcorn, Manny's Deli and Long Grove Confectionery, and ships more than 250,000 pizzas each year.
Malnati's, which began shipping its pizzas all over the country in 1987, also is opening new stores and growing its online shipping division.
At the same time, it is experiencing demand for more office and warehouse space and the need for additional employees, expansion of its manufacturing and distribution functions and the need to consolidate and integrate operations. The new 15,000-square-foot location owned by the Missner Group in the Corporate Grove Business Park, with its eight docks and 16-foot ceilings, meets those demands, the company said.
"We're excited to finally unite our entire organization and integrate the Lou Malnati's and Tastes of Chicago brands in one multiuse space," owner Marc Malnati said. "We're committed to providing jobs at our home office, warehouse and stores while supporting the local communities we serve. We feel fortunate to be expanding during these unprecedented times and look forward to connecting, collaborating and growing in our new home in Buffalo Grove."
Buffalo Grove Village President Beverly Sussman said the Malnati's move is part of the significant development of the area around Busch Parkway.
"I'm so glad that Lou Malnati's likes Buffalo Grove so much," she said. "They know what Buffalo Grove is like, because they have been here for many, many years. And they think enough of Buffalo Grove where they want to have their corporate store, and that says an awful lot about Buffalo Grove."
"Buffalo Grove has become an advanced manufacturing hub, one of the strongest in the Midwest," Sussman added.
The Lou Malnati's Pizzeria chain has grown to more than 60 restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs as well as in Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Phoenix. A new location in Aurora has been under construction and is expected to open later this summer.
"We have several fond memories of serving the Northbrook community, and most of them have to do with the growing pains of operating the Lou Malnati's Tastes of Chicago fulfillment warehouse in a space that we have outgrown," said Lou Malnati's public relations manager Natalie Levy.
"Also, we've had great relationships with our Northbrook neighbors and the Chamber of Commerce, and without their cooperation would not have been able to stay in our current space as long as we have."
• Northbrook and Glenview Herald staff writer Dave Oberhelman contributed to this report.