My father is a serious entrepreneur and I give him credit for instilling the same spirit in me. He has shown me that with enough determination and joy in what you do you can create something out of nothing. - Jasmin Griffith

My dad is the most inspirational person that I have ever been lucky enough to know. He is hilarious, he is wise, kind, and weird. He is spiritual and open-minded. He lives every day of his life for others and has shown me what is important, what real success is, and that the important things in life are. He is pure good.

He taught me to be comfortable with who I am, learn to make good decisions, always be able to laugh at myself, and trust my gut. He has supported me endlessly-- believing in my dreams and cheering for me as they become a reality. He and my mom have sacrificed so much to make sure their family came first. He is my shoulder to lean on, my ear when I vent and my best friend. My passion for helping others and using my experiences to better the world is completely inspired by him.

So now it is my turn to help him.

This fundraiser is to help my father restore his dream. 

Growing up in Illinois in a traditional family, Gil's passion for great food started at a very young age. He started working at a pizza establishment in 1973. He fell in love with the pizzeria and the restaurant business and realized what his dream was to be. Learning early on, he was taught to always use fresh ingredients, provide great service, and to tell no one about the secret recipes!

Though life took him in another direction, from enrolling in the military to getting a background in electrical. Over time he learned sales, customer service, accounting, management, and also met the love of his life.  Which then led him down the path of fatherhood: three kids, a dog, and a life that’s kept that pizza dream squarely on the “someday” list. 

The golden opportunity came in the year 2008 when my dad and an old friend reunited and decided it was time to make that dream a reality. Together they accepted the risks of starting their own pizzeria restaurant during an economic slump, on the west end of Lake Elsinore, CA calling it, Papa G's Bistro. The restaurant quickly became a place where friends and family came together for great Italian meals and pizza. 

But after two years of running the business, the partners soon realized they had different ideas on where they saw the business going. So Gil reluctantly said goodbye [for now] and let his partner continue his direction until it closed down later that year.

To this day, his loyal customers request that Gil would re-open up another pizzeria on his own, as he was all about the customer service and quality of food. He eagerly accepted challenges from patrons to "come up with something unique" from working with local schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, youth sports, and charitable organizations by giving a helping hand with fundraisers that revolve around great food and a great atmosphere. He left an impression on so many, that we have often heard his values have gone statewide.

 

Now he is ready to take that approach again to serve spectacular pizza dishes at reasonable prices with a Chicago twist via a pizza truck. He plans to incorporate his same great family recipes, from his Homemade Pizza Dough to his Homemade Pizza Sauce to his delicious Chicago Hot Dogs and "to die for" Homemade, Gilamon Cinnamon Rolls.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Papa G's Bistro was Honored as Business of the Year in 2010

At the time, he and his partner were honored by the City Council as Lake Elsinore's Business of the Year. The two dedicated restaurateurs worked to WOW Lake Elsinore with more than a few twists and variations on the pizza.

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