Lindy's Lunch

Entrepreneurial Spirit | Lindy’s Lunch

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Dozens of entrepreneurs in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys navigated the challenges of the pandemic to launch a new venture, proving the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.

For Growth Report 2, The Business Journal spoke with owners of six local businesses who shared their experiences. They include Devyn Bellamy of Geras Home Solutions; Amy Javens of Cycle Life Studio; Lindy Lauro of Lindy’s Lunch; Monique Davis of Beloved Guardians Home Health Care; Sara Lee Grandelis of Lotus Art Center; John McDonald and Joe Driscoll of Easy Adapter Inc.; and Benjamin Warren of Big Benz Towing & Repair.

Each will be spotlighted separately online.

Lindy’s Lunch | Lindy Lauro

Lindy Lauro hadn’t planned to open a business in one of the most challenging business environments an entrepreneur could face.

She had been running the food and beverage department at the New Castle Country Club before it came under new ownership and Lauro decided she wanted to move in a different direction.

She signed the lease March 11, 2020, for her new restaurant, Lindy’s Lunch, in New Castle, Pa.

“Then this COVID happened,” she says.

The pandemic put Lauro’s plans for Lindy’s Lunch on pause because permitting and construction weren’t taking place. The restaurant eventually opened June 11, 2020, with capacity restrictions.

“It was such a unique situation,” Lauro says. “We had to get the doors open and we just kind of went from there.”

With seating limited to 25% of capacity, takeout service – already a part of Lauro’s business model – was a mainstay for the New Castle restaurant.

“I have a takeout window. Fortunately, the business I operate does a lot of takeout to begin with,” she says. “So, the business model helped a little bit.” 

The business also has benefited from a supportive community, helping it grow, although it’s “still not where I think it should be,” Lauro says.

The biggest challenges the restaurant has faced include lack of labor and, now rising food prices – a “trickle-down effect” of the issues stemming from COVID-19.

Still, she anticipates better times this year. She is looking to add online ordering, partnering with third-party delivery services and catering.

Read more of these stories of entrepreneurship over the next few days, or read George Nelson’s story in Growth Report 2.

Pictured at top: Joe Simpkins, kitchen manager, Lindy’s Lunch

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.