By Brittany Wiley
BAPA Business Liaison
In 1947, the first pizza was served at South Side tavern Home Run Inn. Owners Mary Grittani and son-in-law Nick Perrin began serving their pizza in squares on napkins to bar patrons for free. (Employees swear this is where the square cut pizza all began). Since then, they have grown to 10 brics-and-mortar locations around Chicagoland, with their Beverly/Morgan Park location at 10900 S. Western.
This South Side Chicago institution prides itself as a values-based company whose “purpose is to build meaningful relationships by earning a smile from our guests, trust among our teammates, and love from the communities we serve.” After speaking with Beverly/Morgan Park General Manager Shavez Samuels about this location, it is evident that they are living up to their written purpose.
Samuels explains that they partner with BAPA, Ald. Matt O’Shea, local churches and organizations in an effort to support the community and give back. They also have a program which offers 30% revenue back to local schools, like Clissold and Morgan Park High School, for dine out fundraisers. As a whole, the company supports with My Starving Children, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Red Cross First Responders and more.
The Home Run Inn commitment to building relationships does not only extend to organizations, but to their own employees. Home Run Inn has a long history of employee longevity, with multiple employees hitting over 50 years with the company! Samuels calls the former general manager of their flagship location on 31st Street (a 50 year employee) Home Run Inn’s “Guardian Angel.” Even though he has retired, he still offers his help and knowledge to the company and its employees. And members of his family continue to work there.
A current employee, Kelly Swann, has been with the company for 13 years. Her grandmother worked at the original location for over 40 years. Her cousins have worked there as well. She says working at Home Run Inn is a “rite of passage” in her family.
Samuels has been with Home Run Inn at our neighborhood location for over nine years. He started as a dishwasher in when he was in college and since then has worked as a pizza maker, Kitchen Manager and now General Manager. When asked what has kept him at Home Run Inn, he credits the relationships. “We’ve grown together and built a foundation,” Samuels said.
They are currently looking for people to join their team and they love hiring locally! Samuels went to Morgan Park High School and currently lives with his wife and daughter here in the neighborhood.
“It’s a great place to work. We offer competitive wages and discounts for employees and immediate family,” said Swann.
Visit the team at Home Run Inn Beverly and try their famous garlic butter crust pizza, salads, or Samuels’s recommended chicken dippers. (Beverly won a location-wide garlic butter crust competition!) You can also see their food truck at the Ridge Run on May 30.