Local business look: Sheila Isit, La Grange’s Francesca’s Bellezza

This week’s local business look profiles Sheila Isit, General Manager of the La Grange location of Francesca’s Bellezza Italian restaurant. It opened to the public in 2009. We recently talked with her about how her restaurant group has found a nice niche in the La Grange community.

Q. What brought you/your business to this community? 

A. It’s very important for us at Francesca’s Restaurants to be very integrated in our community. Since we have 20 locations around Chicagoland, guests know that they can come in for a great meal with quality food that caters to all ages. We also knew Francesca’s Bellezza would be a fit for the La Grange community because everyone is very welcoming and supports one another, which is the same mentality that we have at Francesca’s. We want to know our customers’ stories, and this close-knit community allows us to do that.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the business community in which you work? 

A. The business community in La Grange is very collaborative and engaged in making the city better. Everyone knows each other, and we look for opportunities to support one another and draw more people to the community.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the community in which you work? 

A. There’s always something to do here and I love that the community really supports the events that the city puts on for us. I never knew, before working here, that a pet parade could be that much fun! From families to the arts, the community really comes together for a variety of events which I enjoy. We see that same sort of engagement from our own events at Francesca’s Bellezza. From wine dinners to special holiday events, the community really comes out to participate.

Q. What benefits does your community offer that a large city, like Chicago, does not offer? 

A. At Francesca’s Bellezza, we’re walking distance from the train so you get that “home town” feel without being too far from the city. We’re in a central location, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We find that our guests, especially who work in the city, enjoy the fact that they can unwind over a nice glass of wine and dinner or pickup food to-go for their families.

Q. What is a tip you would give to new businesses/organizations? 

A. When I moved into the community, it was important for me to proactively reach out. I looked to our regular guests to be my guide in befriending lots of different types of business owners and people in the community. I’ve found that there are several partnership opportunities, especially to creatively develop incentives to work together and draw more people to our respective businesses. All it takes in LaGrange is to ask for a connection, and everyone will do everything that they can to support you.

Q. Why would you advise someone to open a business in a smaller community, not unlike the one you work in? 

A. A smaller community allows us to get to know our guests on a personal level at Francesca’s Bellezza. There’s nothing more rewarding than getting to watch a family grow-up and celebrate milestones together at the restaurant.

Q. What is your favorite local spot, aside from your own business? 

A. I’m a fro-yo fanatic so I love Red Mango and Forever Yogurt!

The West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry serves as an advocate for business and constantly promotes and assists in enhancing the well-being of the communities that we serve through networking, professional development and legislative involvement. Reach them on the web at www.wscci.org.

Tags:

0 Comments

Modal