Save Valentino's Cafe & Ice Cream Parlor

  • by: Jessica Jaroscak
  • recipient: Martha Wheeler President of the Lake Courthouse Foundation and Board Members

Stacy Jaroscak passed away last April after battling cancer for 6 years. She was the heart and soul of Valentino’s Café & Ice Cream Parlor. We have owned Valentino's, in the historic old courthouse, in downtown Crown Point, IN for 29 years. Also keep in mind out of those 29 years, a lease was signed only 15 times instead of yearly, showing the kind of business the foundation was doing. In those 29 years, we have gained a huge following that brings customers to the building and the whole downtown area.

Well, as if Stacy passing away wasn't enough, now the Lake Courthouse Foundation is trying to steal the family business right out from under our feet. In the last few months of Stacy being sick, we got behind on rent due to being closed. After she passed, a verbal agreement was made saying that we would catch up on rent as soon as we were able. In December of 2013, there was an argument that caused them to take legal action. They've decided to take us to court and basically say, “hey we don't want you here anymore, so get out now. Oh, and by the way you can't sell it either, we're just going to take it from you.” Clearly you can see how unfair that is. They deny every offer that we've countered, so now it's time to take some action. We need to save this place. It's a family owned business and Stacy had worked there for 32 years. My father, grandma, aunt and I all rely on this place as a source of income.

They don't want bad publicity and they want us to go quietly, but that isn't going to happen. We need to get this information to as many people as possible as fast as we can. You can go to click on contacts and email in a response or call 219-663-0660 and ask­ for Martha Wheeler, a.k.a, the source of the problem. Her position as president of the foundation and board is a volunteer position and she has taken it too far. Since she has been there, she has created a harmful atmosphere in the courthouse shops community and taken to bad mouthing Valentino’s to customers at every chance she gets. She has also taken personal digs at my father. We want to take this further, we need coverage in the paper, protests, anything that will get attention and cause a stir. You need to tell the foundation that you will boycott the courthouse and that you will no longer support it with donations. We need to save this place. It's all we have left and if we lose it we lose everything. This needs to start happening fast and hard. We need to be heard. Please get involved so we can show them we're not going anywhere. If you have any other ideas or connections that you want to share please let us know. So share this, and let us know you that you care; support us by stopping in to eat. Please sign this petition, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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