Ciao, Gloria opened its doors only six months ago, and it has been an amazing adventure starting a new business and a great joy joining the Prospect Heights neighborhood for our whole team!
We'd just reached a point where we felt we were hitting our stride, and, as a small business owner, there is no greater happiness than knowing we were "making it".
All that momentum came to a screeching halt this week when we made the difficult decision to close the doors of our sunny little bakery café due to the impact of this pandemic for the safety of our employees, our building and our community at large. We hope that our temporary closure will help in keeping COVID-19 at bay and that we will therefore be able to open again in some form sooner rather than later.
Along with many other small business owners, I made another painfully hard decision Wednesday, one I hope I will never have to make again: I had to lay off the entire Ciao, Gloria staff.
Our staff of baristas, bakers, cooks and porters keep things here running smoothly every day. I am grateful to each and every one of them and now, I am trying to make sure they will all survive this uncertain time.
We know we are not alone in this. Thousands upon thousands of cafés and restaurants are suffering right now. So many small businesses like ours may not be able to reopen unless they receive some sort of funding or aid in the coming weeks and months. I am doing everything in my power to ensure that Ciao, Gloria will reopen again to our amazing community.
This fund is to support the staff of Ciao, Gloria, and to make sure they are okay and are able to survive during this unprecedented period.
If you are able to donate to support our staff, or that of your favorite neighborhood restaurant, cafe or bar, anything big or small will be gladly accepted and immediately felt.
As a special thank you, our top 50 donors (or 100, depending on how successful this fundraiser is - impress me, humanity!) will be invited to a special Pasta Night as soon as we are able to reopen and get back on our feet.
We are keeping the faith that we will be open again soon and our entire staff can return to the Ciao, Gloria family to pick up right where we left off.
Sending much love to you all. You've heard it before, but we ARE all in this together, and we will come out the other end of this stronger than we were before.
Renato, Ginger and Team Gloria
- Esther B
- Lucian Cohen
- Ben Tousley