New restaurant in Naples provides second chances, raises money for nonprofit

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

A new restaurant is opening its doors in Naples, but this one is unlike most others.

Every dollar, every dime spent at Lulu’s Kitchen gets sent straight to St. Matthew’s House. Something as simple as buying a burger actually raises money for a community food pantry or homeless shelter.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to give them a try, perhaps the people behind the food might.

Jillian Rosenstein looks and sounds like most restaurant managers. Unlike most though, she beat drug addiction.

“It’s never too late to transform, it’s never too late to start over,” she said.

She was only in college — Ivy League at Cornell University — when her addiction to Adderall took over. She lost a lot: Herself, her self-esteem, her relationships.

St. Matthew’s House turned her life around.

“It’s a place that really saved my life and gave me a new shot at life and now I get to be a part of this amazing team here.”

The team at St. Matthew’s House’s new restaurant, where everything is made with a little love and a lot of gratitude.

The people you see in the kitchen and behind the coffee bar graduated from the organization’s recovery program, just like Rosenstein.

Some were homeless and stayed in the shelter.

Their boss, Liz Morris, admits she used to judge people like this and knows you might, too. She hopes if Lulu’s Kitchen does anything, it feeds you well and teaches you to “open your heart and soften your soul, that these are real people and all they really need is an opportunity.”

“Can’t do it alone, you need that community, you need a group of people, and hope really does start here,” Rosenstein said.

Lulu’s is set to open sometime in the next few weeks. They offer dine-in, carryout, a coffee cafe, and catering services. It’s located on the St. Matthew’s campus at 2071 Airport-Pulling Rd. S.

If you’re interested in helping St. Matthew’s House, click here.

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