Your Pie starts its tenure in LaGrange by raising thousands for LC Servant Scholars

Published 8:31 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

Locals filled the dining room and patio space at Your Pie during the restaurant’s soft opening and Dine and Donate event on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The grand opening will be Friday.

The Dine and Donate event gave the restaurant a chance to test out the newly trained employees and renovated facilities with a smaller crowd while raising money for the LaGrange College Servant Scholars’ Our Daily Bread program. By the end of Wednesday’s event, $3,012 had been raised. Reservations were required for the Dine and Donate event, and within 12 hours of opening registration, all the spots were filled.

“I just absolutely adore this project that they have going at LaGrange College because it does two things,” restaurant owner Bob Rosato said. “One is it gives these juniors and seniors an opportunity to go out and serve the community in a very meaningful way and really touch lives of people. Then, of course, the people that they are helping get something.”

Our Daily Bread is a student led soup kitchen that typically operates through donations from churches and local groups, and LaGrange College’s Servant Scholars said that the funds raised by the event will have a tremendous impact on the program.

“The impact is immeasurable because we’ve been running the soup kitchen for a little over six years, and we partnered with Broad Street Church of Christ.

They let us use their facilities,” said Jack Slay, the faculty director for the LaGrange College Student Scholars. “The soup kitchen is entirely run by those 24 servant scholars. They plan the menus. They buy the food. All the money that they use is generated by those students, so when we get a partnership like this, it allows them to focus more on menu — creating healthier meals.”

Slay said that Our Daily Bread typically serves about 40 people on $50 per meal with help from groups like Feeding the Valley and canned food donations. The funds raised by this Dine and Donate event will likely go toward allowing the students to prepare even healthier meals for the program.

“What this will go to is helping us purchase ingredients, being able to buy supplies to run it and hopefully allow us to expand the program as a whole,” said Chris Smith, who represented the LaGrange College Servant Scholars at the event. “We also have requested money through grants, so hopefully when we get money from this and that, we will be able to keep the program running for several years.”

The LaGrange College Servant Scholars were grateful to everyone who came out and donated to Our Daily Bread during the event.

“I think it is awesome that the community wants to take partnership and ownership of helping their community members out,” said Delani White, who represented the LaGrange College Servant Scholars at the event. “I think that is incredible, and it is really an honor and a privilege that they are willing to partner to do this because it takes the community to help the community.”

That spirit of community helping community is one of the focuses of Your Pie.

“The biggest thing to us though is just making sure that they understand that our number one goal is to contribute to the community,” said Leah Arp, Your Pie franchise support manager. “By doing these Dine and Donates, we try to support a local cause, and like I said, we want everyone to feel at home when they are here.”

Rosato said Your Pie will host spirit nights for local schools and fundraisers for local charities in the future. The causes the restaurant supports won’t be the only thing original to the LaGrange location though, thanks to the original brick in the location and the mural that decorates one wall of the restaurant, after being hidden by plaster for decades.

“We started coming down and looking at it, and we fell in love with this old building the first time we looked at it,” Rosato said. “It had been sitting vacant. … When we saw the outdoor space, the ideas started automatically [building]. We were fortunate enough to get an opportunity to lease it and get into it.”

Rosato said that he decided on the LaGrange location due to a recommendation from Wild Leap Brew Co. co-founders Rob Goldstein and Anthony Rodriguez.

“What we didn’t know was how special this building really was until we got past all the demolition and revealed this beautiful mural that is on a wall,” Rosato said. “We had no idea it was there. It was all covered up with plaster. These are original walls, the original ceiling and everything else is new.”

The restaurant also hopes to be part of LaGrange’s job development efforts. Arp said franchise locations typically hire teenagers and young adults, who they train in business practices through high school and college, and Your Pie typically promotes employees within the company instead of hiring outside the company.

Your Pie’s grand opening will be Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 124 Bull Street. The LaGrange location will sell pizza for $3.14 all day, with a limit of one per person, and Wild Leap Brew Co. pints for $3.14 all day on Friday. The restaurant will also host giveaways.

To donate to the LaGrange College Servant Scholars Our Daily Bread or for more information, call LaGrange College at (706) 880-8000 and ask for Slay.