The Rotary Club of La Grange is pleased to honor Maria Marciniec as our 2022-2023 "Bob Butler" Rotary Club of LaGrange Businesspersons of the year. When you think LaGrange, there aren’t many businesses in the downtown that have been around since Ronald Reagan was president, but TATES Old Fashioned Ice Cream at 25 S. Ashland Ave. is one of them.
The Village’s favorite spot for cold summer treats celebrated its 35th year anniversary in June 2022. Businesses like Tates, are one of the reasons why many people choose to buy a home here. People sometimes move away, come back to live here and wind up bringing their kids here for ice cream, just like when they were young.
TATES first opened in 1987 under a different owner, who later opened a TATES in Wheaton. The name is a tribute to the original owner’s sons, named Tim and Terry’s adding the “E” for Eat, and “S” Shop completed the acronym. “I kept the name when I bought it 13 years ago,” Marciniec said. “She started something special in the community.” Marciniec first learned the business by working in her parent’s fast-food restaurant, Mr. Quick, in Pontiac, Illinois. Mr. Quick was part of a small chain and when the family moved to the Chicago area, it opened one in Bolingbrook. Maria has been in the food business ever since. “It’s in my blood,” Marciniec said.
Maria worked at Women's Health Care in Hinsdale for ten years doing fetal monitoring on expecting moms and loves that she heard heartbeats from the beginning of the little ones that have come in to TATES while they were potty training, lost a first tooth, went to their first dance, and now are old enough to work at TATES.
It was her time at Mr. Quick that gave her the experience to help her business compete. “I learned how the franchisers do it,” she said, “so I know the challenges of keeping up with the big boys. I don’t have a corporate office I can call for help with supplies, so I have to be creative.” That creativity accounts for her policy of planting tokens in six Village parks for kids to find and bring in for a free treat. When the kids bring their families in, they wind up buying ice cream for themselves. During the pandemic, she kept that creativity going by serving “sundae kits,” or kits with a craft attached, so that they could take something home while the in-store business was limited.
All of the ice cream sold in TATES is created in house, which means Marciniec is on the job most mornings at 6:30 a.m. She said that her favorite flavors are the ones requested by customers. “Those are the ones I like making,” she said. “We have a chalkboard where customers can make suggestions.” Maria felt a calling to buy TATES when she did. “It didn’t look like TATES was going to stay and it needed to stay,” she said. “I’ve been having fun ever since.”
Maria is a member of the LGBA, and the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce. How long she will continue having that fun is as yet undetermined, but as with many people, her health will let her know when it’s time to retire. “As long as my body lets me,” she said of her plans. “It’s a physically-taxing business. But I’ll keep at it as long as I can. I love it.” She is married with 3 children. Her family also owns Dan’s Pizza in Downers Grove, named after her husband, which has served the area for more than 43 years and has been taken over by one of the family’s sons.
The Rotary Club of LaGrange is pleased to honor Maria Mariniec as the 11th recipient of the Bob Butler Business Person of the Year Award.
The Rotary Club of LaGrange thanks the
2022 Pilgrim Pie Run for Rotary sponsors
Clarity Physical Therapy & Wellness CenterRead MoreShare
Just Lift Fitness
Tom Gleitsman & Taylor Jaeger
Architects by Design
Community Bank of Western Springs
Douglas Auto Body
FNBC Bank & Trust
FNBC Bank & Trust Wealth Management
Peak Running LLC
Perform Physical Therapy
Stonebridge Wealth Management
Williamson Wealth Management
LaGrange Fitness - Park District of LaGrange
Home Run Inn
Lyons Township High School
Sara Lee Frozen Bakeries
Our 2022 Secret Santa Gift Program
was a great success thanks to our
partners and the following groups,
organizations and businesses:
Secret Santa ElvesRead MoreShare
Park District of LaGrange
Pillars Community Health
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Adventure Guides & Princesses
LTHS Student Council
FNBC Bank & Trust
Grace Lutheran Church
Jack Phelan CDIR of LaGrange
LaGrange Garden Club
LaGrange Public Library
LaGrange Park Public Library
Pleasantview Fire Station 1
Pleasantview Fire Station 2
Pleasantview Fire Station 3
Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Village True Value Hardware