Freeport, Illinois – “At 50 Years Old, I Lost Everything“, says Dorothy Roberson of Chicago, Illinois. “I lost my house and everything because of a marriage” she told CBS Local out of Chicago during a 2013 interview.
Dorothy, a performer in the city says she had moved out of the state of Illinois and moved down south to try and pull some pieces of her life back together, but in 2008 she moved back to Chicago.
Then, people began coming up to her and asking if anyone has ever said that she looks like Tina Turner. People even started asking to have their photo taken with her.
Dorothy says the next thing she knew, she looked up and she was surrounded by cameras. People thought she came to the Tina Turner concert to impersonate her, when actually she had just went there as herself to watch a concert.
Dorothy says, “That’s when I became Tina Turner”.
See, Dorothy has a special story of success and a special talent she brings with her as tonight she is in Freeport to help celebrate another great story of the 5 Year Anniversary of This Is It Eatery being open in Downtown Freeport.
Tonight at 6:00 the entire block will be blocked off for what might be the biggest celebration (and party) a local business in our city has ever put together but Randy Skeens, owner of This Is Eatery has a special story of his own he brings to Freeport.
Not just a story of a business or of great food, but of family, community, hard work, payoff, all mixed with a little bit of a small town love story.
See, like Dorothy who will be performing at tonight’s Block Party, This Is It Eatery, (Randy) also had struggles.
Coming to a new town, new people, starting a restaurant in Downtown Freeport, in no way is that a guaranteed “home run” of a business idea.
After a nearly two years of being open, This Is It too found itself not sure if it was going to make it. Randy was worried, scared and not sure what to do.
Randy isn’t from Freeport. At the time he was new in town, an unknown, yet he invested in our community, he invested in our downtown. He didn’t have to. He didn’t have to bring with him his enthusiasm, his excitement, his ideas for our Downtown, but he did.
Instead of giving up, instead of quitting Randy started talking to the people of Freeport. He started opening up, exposing This Is It Eatery’s lack of business, himself, his vulnerabilities, his new found love with Freeport native Justin Breeze and started focusing on the great food, the great staff.
He started telling his own story.
What he didn’t realize at the time, was he was exposing his true heart to the residents of Freeport and you, me all of us got a little glimpse of the person behind the business of This Is It Eatery.
What we saw, what we heard, what we experienced when we went there, we fell in love with.
Our community has welcomed Randy Skeens with open arms and he has given his love right back to us. In a way he’s set a new standard of “business owner to community” communication.
We can’t think of another local business owner who communicates with their customers, with the community as much and as often, or in the way that Randy does. It’s personal, approachable, likable and genuine.
Tonight is more than just a celebration of a business being open for 5 years. It’s more than just a celebration of two people. It’s a celebration of all the ingredients of a true success story for everyone.
This Is It Eatery is a win win for the community. It’s a win for us and it has all the elements of hometown love story that includes small business, jobs, growth, friendship, community and finding real love.
It mixes business and prosperity with people and community. From our perspective, all of the ingredients needed to give the people of Freeport all that we really want to see anyway which is simply, Freeport succeed.
With the help of Randy and Justin, with the help of their staff and only from the mutual support of our community, tonight in Freeport one of our favorite hot spots is celebrating “us” as they mark the 5th year anniversary of what is now, one of Freeport’s favorite local small town businesses. Tonight we celebrate success on many fronts.
We appreciate Randy and Justin because they appreciate us. The great food, the great staff, all the fun they try and add to downtown Freeport is just icing on the cake.
So come on downtown Freeport tonight and join in the fun, the music, the good times, the great food and come show your support most of all, for Freeport.