East St. Louis, IL., “City of Champions” a place that no one cares to talk about. A place where most far easterners think is part of the St.Louis’ city limits.
In addition their hometown heroes, the East St. Louis high School football team is heading to State. Something that is being talked about as I type.
However, East St. Louis, is a small eastern suburb of St. Louis, located across the Mississippi River. A town of maybe over 18.000 people, positioned to be a hotbed of real estate investment opportunities.
If you set aside its crime rate, poverty and ghostly downtown. You will noticed that there are people like Courtney Hoffman branded to ensure that stability reign true.
Because his prolific entrepreneural spirit of business could have him running for councilman. His vision for success shows in everything that he touches.
I had the chance to slow him down and get the goodies on his new adventure in honor of his beloved late mom Gwen.
How are you this glorious Sunday?
Courtney: I am doing well, thanks for asking.
So, Gwen’s is finally open, what hurdles did it takes to get it done?
Courtney: Well, the only hurdles I’d faced were reconstructing a wall that was damaged, installing floor drains and a grease trap to a 60 plus year old building.
Oh my, so did you tell your loving mom about the idea before she passed?
Courtney: I did not tell her about the restaurant because it wasn’t in my plans at all. I always wanted the real estate for years. God makes no mistakes. He rewarded me with the building I always wanted and the opportunity allow me to always feel the presence of my mother.
Commendable! Do you have any family members working at your restaurant?
Courtney: I do not have family working there at the moment. I’m working on building a brand. I just know that family and business is not so advantageous starting out.
Tell us more about all of your titles of business besides Gwen’s, and what it is like to be so prolific?
Courtney: I am a Real Estate Broker, Appraiser, Claims Adjuster, Mortgage Broker, and a Consumer Loan Lender. It is difficult but it helps to have trusted people in your corner to take some of the load off.
Is there a market in East St. Louis for more restaurants like yours?
Courtney: We here in East St Louis have very limited black-owned restaurants. I’m currently running for City Council and a goal of mine is to work with my ticket, which consists of Charles Powell III as Mayor and LaVondo Pulley as the Second Councilmen to bring other quality restaurants, housing and business.
You are the MAN!I am so proud to know you. Now, last, give us the hours and location of Gwen’s?
Courtney: We are open now (Sunday). Our hours are 11a.m. to 8:30p.m., Wednesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Address is 4000 State Street East St Louis Il 62205 Web Gwens-estl.com
Gwen’s: Online Menu – 4000 State Street East Saint Louis, IL
Hoffman Feingold Agency/ We Lend Money Mortgage 8331 State Street East St Louis IL 62203