Magic Tree Program Offers Training, Support for Restaurateurs

BOARDMAN, Ohio — A new joint venture program offered at Magic Tree Pub & Eatery will allow those interested in working in the restaurant and hospitality industry to obtain the training, resources and financial support they need to start their own business.

Magic Tree, in partnership with Ceetus Investment Group, announced the program Monday. Those interested in becoming restaurant and hospitality professionals can learn about the industry while earning resources to open their own venture, according to the announcement.

Applicants will learn the restaurant business by working at Magic Tree, 7463 South Ave. The program is intended for those who want to learn the business and how to become a manager.

Upon completion of the training program, participants can partner with Ceetus to open their own restaurant business with property resources and financial support, according to the release.

“Everybody that makes it through the program and is looking to start their own restaurant, [Ceetus] will provide the financial assistance to get them up and running,” said Justin Pennington, owner of Magic Tree.

Applications will be accepted starting Nov. 3. Those interested can click HERE to apply.

“With the employee shortage, Magic Tree is in need of additional staff,” said Ron Mansfield, a venture capitalist and director at Ceetus Investment Group. “This provides a way for them to be adequately staffed while providing training to future entrepreneurs. The training and working relationship also reduces the risk for future investments by fully vetting the people that will lead the new ventures. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.”

Magic Tree employs 55 and is hoping to bring on another five, primarily in the kitchen and the back of the house, Pennington said. Through the program, Pennington hopes to attract individuals “who really want to be here” and aren’t just looking for a part-time job, he said.

Ceetus helped to finance the Magic Tree, he said. Pennington bought the business portion of the Magic Tree from previous owners Phill and Sandy Reda in 2018. In February 2020, the property at 7463 South Ave. was purchased for $1.2 million by MT Associates Holdings LLC, of which Pennington is registered agent and sole principal.

Venture capitalists help entrepreneurs operate their businesses and provide financial support and resources, Mansfield said. Magic Tree’s joint venture program aims to help those interested in opening their own restaurant or hospitality business without being tied to a chain or franchise agreement.

The program takes at least two years to complete, after which graduates will be provided with resources and financial support to start their own businesses, according to the announcement.

“Our joint venture program helps out a local restaurant from struggling with the employee shortage and the ‘Great Resignation’ that is going on,” Mansfield said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.