LE ROY, Ill.–Jack Pinjoli is a man of many hats, especially in the local restaurant business.
“When I came to the United States in 1974, the name was given to me—Jack. I was a very hard worker and they started calling me ‘jack of all the trades,'” he said.
Originally from Macedonia, Pinjoli immigrated to the country in 1974, working his way up the ranks from busboy and dishwasher to cook.
He said, “Opportunity is what brought me to the United States. And I wanted to achieve the goals for my family. I did with hard work.”
That hard work paid off. In 1998, he opened his own restaurant called Jack’s Cafe in Fisher. But he didn’t do it on his own.
Pinjoli said, “I had my family to help me out. My daughters, my wife, my son.”
Fast forward to 2019, Pinjoli has since moved his business to two locations; the one in Le Roy started back in 2008 and the one in Tremont, which is run by his daughter, started in 2015.
“She always followed me at the restaurant. She was my right-handed girl as I call. She took everything after me,” said Pinjoli.
At Jack’s Cafe, you’ll find him and his staff serving up homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
“I guess it’s in the blood. I guess, you know, addicted to it in a way. And if you’re not here, you think you might lose it,” he said.
Pinjoli said embedding himself and his family in the community has helped him build close relationships with those nearby. He supports them. They support him.
“It wasn’t like we were new or foreigners from another country. Actually we became one of them and we connected,” he said.
Pinjoli said he’s grateful for all who have helped make his entrepreneurial dream a reality. He shares this message to those going after their goals.
“This is land of opportunity. This is place where you want to achieve your goals, you can. Nothing can stop you from doing that.”