J Pistone One World Market & Cafe is a community-based organization offering restaurant-quality food at a fraction of the cost, while uplifting community members. They have worked to better the lives of the members of the surrounding community by implementing non-discriminatory hiring processes, creating a welcoming, inspiring environment, and providing healthful and fresh foods at the convenience of fast food.
Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management
While starting their initial business in 1985, J Pistone One World Market & Cafe opened in 2000 as a joint venture of John Pistone and his sister. Together they have been able to cultivate a hard-working, dedicated staff that has decades of combined experience. In their business, J Pistone Market has worked to provide affordable, high-quality meals to reduce the lack of access to quality food and ingredients at affordable prices.
A traditional restaurant meal is out of reach for many. Whether it is the price point or the time commitment, the busy lives of America’s families often have to resort to quick, convenient options for dinner time. While fast food serves as an easily attainable solution, the health effects of high-preservative, processed, and fried foods have presented dire health consequences for Americans.
J Pistone bridges the gap between fast food and fine dining, as it is the quality of restaurant-style food at reduced prices but at the convenience of fast food. They have helped provide healthful, clean, and nutrient-dense foods to those in a pinch with their experienced chefs that have been with them for 15+ years. With an everchanging menu and a priced per pound motto, “pay for what you eat,” J Pistone has become a staple in the Shaker Heights community for affordable, quality meals for lunch and dinner. Due to their experience and passion for quality meals made with the freshest of ingredients, John Pistone and his sister have successfully developed a loyal customer base that continues to come back.
J Pistone One World Market & Cafe, bridging fast-food convenience with restaurant-quality food.
John Pistone, the co-owner of J Pistone, was inspired by his family business and the values that J Pistone has held true for years and years. When John was only a kid, his father started J Pistone with his employees and the community in mind– this is something John never forgot. When the time came for John to take the helm of J Pistone, he welcomed it gladly along with his sister and they assumed ownership of the business. The first move they did as a pair was moving the business from its original downtown location to a store corner in the center of Shaker Heights. Becoming a family man himself with two twin sons, living in Shaker Heights, he is committed to bringing value to his fellow families in the neighborhood and J Pistone’s longtime customers from its inception.
What continues to inspire John Pistone is two-fold–his dedication to his employees and his customers. John has curated a strong team of individuals and chooses to provide them with good working environments, wages, and support. Inspired by his own non-discriminatory principles, he chooses his team, not by the person’s background but by how they present themselves and their values. In regards to J Pistone’s customers, they are a top priority. John told us “we produce fresh food and our customers support us”. This is proven in their longtime customers as well who continue to return to J Pistone’s because of John and his team’s dedication to good food and the people who enjoy it.
The J Pistone One World Market & Cafe tries to use its power to both change American eating habits and help society at the same time. Starting in 1985, John Pistone’s dad, the previous owner of the restaurant, started the restaurant in downtown Cleveland. When he began running the restaurant, he observed that there were a lot of people who were hardworking but struggling financially, which made it difficult for them to get a medium-paid job. Although these real working-class people had the ability to perform quality work, they have simply not been given a chance to prove it. With his faith and empathy for real working-class people, John Pistone’s dad then decided to hire people from the community regardless of their financial situation or spotted record.
The decision that John Pistone’s dad made would later become a central belief of the restaurant. Since the restaurant has been located in the Shaker Heights neighborhood for more than 15 years, people in the community know and appreciate J Pistone Market. As a result, a sense of loyalty and trust has been built between the market and the community. Although the restaurant does not hire people frequently, it gives young people from the community a chance to earn the money they deserve and have control over their work-life balance. During the interview, the current owner, John Pistone, told us that he does not limit his employees’ working hours. “If you want to work 40 hours a week, you work 40 hours. If you want to work 80 hours a week, I will let you work 80 hours a week.” Leading with empathy and faith in the members of the community, the J Pistone market continues to use its power to aid the real working-class people, as well as the surrounding community.
By providing an option for convenient, restaurant-style, healthful foods, J Pistone One World Market & Cafe has opened a door for itself to obtain and create a loyal customer base. Customers have appreciated the quick and accessible food that has been made in-house by experienced and well-trained cooks and staff. J Pistone can focus on food quality over building maintenance and upkeep, as there are no tables to look after and restaurants to upkeep. As a result of this, they have been able to focus solely on developing new recipes and expanding their ever-changing and growing kitchen, while not worrying about the inconsistencies of the traditional restaurant business.
This has also led to a loyal team that has stood by them through their two decades of business. While normal restaurant workers depend heavily upon tips, the J Pistone Market team appreciates above-average wages, and tips are simply an added bonus. This has helped the market continue to grow and gain success, as one of the most important parts of a business is ensuring a driven, hard-working, and dedicated team that supports your mission, J Pistone has done this.
Through their employee's first mindset and their drive to provide the community with healthful, high-quality foods, J Pistone has been able to guarantee its success in the future and make it a business model that should be followed. Not only creating a loyal consumer base, but they have been able to cultivate a dedicated team that has grown as the business has grown. Because of their combined decades of experience, they only continue to better reach customers’ needs as time continues.
J Pistone One World Market & Cafefills an important niche in the Shaker Heights community by providing healthy, high-quality meals made by professional chefs to their customers at very affordable prices. Because of their dedication to their community and understanding of the value of serving their customers, they are able to provide authentic, high-quality meals that bring a family component to their products.
In addition, J Pistone Market is also known in town for its policies on employment. The owner has made it clear that the past experience or history of the candidate was never the deciding factor for hiring them. He judged them by their defining character, allowing people from all backgrounds, especially those who have a criminal record, to have an opportunity to work in a welcoming and collaborative work environment. The owner places great importance on the satisfaction of his employees, which is why he offers flexible working hours and pays above the minimum wage even for entry-level positions. While they have largely inspired the local community as a result of their hiring processes and their people-first mentality, they have also begun to change the landscape of food availability in Shaker Heights, Ohio. In a time where the presence of food deserts and the lack of affordable, nutritious foods are increasing, J. Pistone Market offers hope for the future.
John Pistone, Co-Owner
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Shaker Heights, OH, US
Business Website: https://www.jpistone.com/
Year Founded: 2002
Number of Employees: 11 to 50