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Mom Opens Eatery in Tough Times

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ClickonDetroit: A metro Detroit mother of six said she's hoping that opening a new restaurant will be enough to support her family.

Scrubbing, determination and hope are the first ingredients Suzanne Zoellner has used to get her new cooking business, LuLu White's Chicken And Dumplings, started.

Zoellner said she has not been able to find employment for two years, her home is in foreclosure, bills are mounting and as a single mother with children to support, she had to do something. After getting a few loans from friends, Zoellner said the idea for a restaurant came from what she does best.

"Use the talents you have, which right now, raising six kids, is cooking," she said. "And I'm a great cook."

She also said she's trying to teach her kids a lesson along the way.

"With kids, their lifestyle changes with the economy. Things are not handed to them anymore," she said.

"Well at first, I was questionable as to what we were going to do. And then she came up with this idea," said son Mark Zoellner. "And I was like, 'I think it might work,' as long as we all put all of our 100 percent into it and it can be successful and we'll no longer have to struggle."

Zoellner said she knows the road ahead will be hard, but is thankful she's got one more chance to provide for her family.

"I have to keep working, I have to keep going. I can't just throw in the towel, I'll be homeless," she said. "I have to do something and this is it."

The restaurant in Pontiac, at 143 South Telegraph Road, is set to open Friday.

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lyn February 24, 2009, 10:12 AM

Wow, I hope she does well.

“About one in four restaurants close or change ownership within their first year of business. Over three years, that number rises to three in five.” - Business Week

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