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Rose Garden Restaurant

Where Customers become like Family

By: Jeanie MayerDreymiller-3.jpg

The Rose Garden is like a second home to the regulars who dine at the restaurant every day. They come in for the biscuits and gravy, the breakfast buffet with bone-in carved ham, the eggs over easy and the pancakes, but more than that, they come because they are treated like family by the Azizi’s who have owned and operated the business since 2003.

Sam Azizi and his son, Tony, along with Sam’s daughter, Ane Jasarovski, are in the restaurant every day, and with their staff of 15 employees, they work to serve up smiles with every order. Ane says she loves her customers and the people of Hampshire.

“I look forward to seeing my regulars. Everyone greets them all when they come in. I know what they like to eat. It’s something you learn,” she said.

Ane learned the restaurant business starting at a young age. From the time she was in sixth grade, she remembers helping out in her dad’s first restaurant, Two Brothers, in Elgin. She also learned about caring for others watching her dad in that restaurant.

“My dad came to this country at age 17 with nothing in his pockets, but he always fed people when they needed it,” she said.

Sam takes pride in preparing his homemade soups for customers each day. A selection of cream of potato, tomato barley, chicken noodle and chicken dumpling soups are made fresh every day. He also maintains a large garden and utilizes the vegetables and fruits he grows in the menu. The homegrown watermelon and cantaloupe appear on the menu in the summer months.

Ane said her dad and brother run the business end of things while she handles the dining room.

“Dad is always the first one here in the morning at 4 or 4:30am to get the day going. Tony is our secretary. He keeps up with the permits and handles the operations of the business,” Ane said.

Ane has a heart for reaching out to those who may be lonely or in need of a good meal. She routinely works the soup kitchens in Elgin and hosts a Christmas dinner for the homeless with the First United Methodist Church in Elgin every year. She has collected socks, underwear and t-shirts for the homeless and has helped bring in donations for a family battling with cancer.

At the Rose Garden, Ane continues to help where she can. Recently, when a man she did not know posted on social media that he was in need of a meal, she reached out to him to provide breakfast as often as he needed it. Now he helps her out with small jobs.

“I never judge people. There is always a reason people are in that situation,” she said.

The Rose Garden’s Hungry Hearts program was born during the Covid 19 crisis. Ane recognized that many older folks were in need of some company during this time. She started surprising them with a free breakfast and would chat with them for a few minutes when she delivered it to them. When she posted it on Facebook, the community responded with offers to help. Through the support of the community, donations have reached $1600 to help cover the costs of meals for people.

“I have learned that people will follow [a good example]. It takes one person to start something, and everyone piles on and helps out. None of these things would be possible without the Rose Garden’s exposure to folks.”

The Rose Garden makes an effort to recognize Hometown Heroes on their social media page. From the fire department, to the guys at Blocks Fresh Market, and the Village staff, they all order from her restaurant and support

all the local businesses. She said it is a way of saying thank you to those who have supported them so much this year.

Ane said she has had a great experience working with the Village board and staff and feels that there is a great sense of cooperation between the village and the businesses.

“I had just met [Village Manager] Jay Hedges. I asked him for a crosswalk sign for the traffic since we had tables outside. Within a couple minutes, he had a sign out for me,” Ane said.

The restaurant offers typical American fare for their breakfast and lunch crowds, but the restaurant is always looking to add something special to their line-up. Ane’s special Weekly Waffle is a big hit with toppings like s’mores, peaches and cream, banana split and caramel apple. They also cater to an adult crowd with their al fresco dining and Sippin’ on State drink menu that includes bloody Mary’s, mimosas and vodka mixers.

The restaurant is available for private parties and can offer buffet set-ups, alternate menu options, music, decorations and more. They have hosted birthday celebrations, bridal and wedding showers, graduations and celebrations of life luncheons. Customers can call or stop in to book the gatherings and make menu selections with Ane.

About This Business

Owners: Sam and Tony Azizi
Address: 199 S State Street
Hampshire Phone: 847-683-7336
Hours: Open 6am to 3pm Daily
Facebook Page: RoseGardenHampshire