© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Restaurateur Who Trains and Employs Former Inmates Tells Akron Audience Why it Works

A photo of Brandon Chrostowski with a Buchtel HS teacher and student
Edwin's Restaurant owner Brandon Chrostowski visited briefly with Buchtel HS culinary students and their teacher after his Akron Roundtable address at Quaker Station. He paused for a photograph with senior Cashmere Peterson.

A criminal record often makes it difficult to find employment. But a Cleveland chef has found success employing former prison inmates. Brandon Chrostowski of Edwin’s Restaurant in Shaker Square told the Akron Roundtable Thursday it’s about giving people confidence and skill.

“The NFL has no problem hiring someone who’s been in prison because they have an elite skill that can make or save them money. In business it’s no different. Our grads have 55 jobs waiting to hire. They have an elite skill that can make or save someone money.”

Chrostowski runs a six-month training program in prisons, which has grown to include the restaurant, housing for his trainees, and a butcher shop that recently opened in Shaker Square.  

Chrostowski has served as a consultant for a Medina restaurant, Serenite, which employs those recovering from addiction. 

You can hear his full Roundtable address next Thursday at 8 p.m. on WKSU.