Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:29 pm
Grandview Management Inc. has come a long way since Angelo and Ellen Zilli began with a humble little Tastee Freeze franchise in Waukesha back in 1967.
The Zillis converted that Taste Freeze into a family restaurant called Ellen’s on Grandview a few years later, and that transformation set the stage for a growing company.
"That planted the seeds for a company that now employs more than 200 individuals and serves food to thousands of customers every year," said Jim Zilli, son of Angelo and Ellen, who is now the vice president of marketing for Waukesha-based Grandview Management. "It’s a source of pride for our entire family to be able to carry on our tradition."
That pride as a family business is just one of the reasons Grandview Management was selected by the Waukesha Area Chamber of Commerce as the "Top Business of the Year" from a group of 10 finalists for the annual award.
"My mother, Ellen, is president of our organization, and three generations of our family now work in the daily operations of the company," Jim Zilli said. "They help each division operate seamlessly and in concert with the vision established at the company’s inception. Together with our talented team of professionals, we’ve grown from one small family-style restaurant into a multi-tiered restaurant and hospitality corporation."
Grandview Management’s divisions are:
— Zilli’s Grandview Inn, a Waukesha landmark serving high-quality food in a relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere.
— Ellen’s Prestige Catering, a company that has grown to be one of the top five largest independently owned catering operations in the Midwest, employing experienced event planning professionals, elegant presentations and five-star cuisine;
— Coast – A Zilli Restaurant, their newest venture located on Milwaukee’s lakefront, combining all of the elements of quality and service the family has become known for.
Last year, Grandview Management reported revenues of almost $7 million. However, despite the company’s significant growth, Zilli said the Grandview Management maintains the same core of values of hard work, exceptional service and dedication to excellence that his father defined decades earlier.
"We keep a very strong focus on developing our staff," he said. "We invest in
continuing education for them. We’re very fortunate to have the staff we have. A lot of them are my heroes, giving us good ideas for customer service and pitching in for each other to get the job done right. And we emphasize customer retention. It’s really a discipline that helps grow our business and keeps us in touch with what’s going on."
June 25, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI