We at Taurus Flavors hope that all our followers, customers, friends, and Taurus Family are well during this pandemic. We remember the best of times, and now like our country, it is the worst of times for us.
We want to BRING TAURUS BACK for all our Taurus Family so you can once again taste and enjoy the savory flavor of the ORIGINAL TAURUS FLAVORS. To do that, we are asking you to help expedite the rebuilding of Taurus Flavors on the site that has been its home for almost 50 years. As soon as we reach our first financial milestone, construction will commence. Our plan is to start by July 31, 2020. We would love to complete the rebuilding by December 31, 2020.
We will forever be grateful for all support to bring back the first and oldest Black Owned Hoagy and Steak shop in Chicago. Our father, Mr. Edward Perkins, would be overjoyed to see how the community steps up to support Taurus as Taurus used to support the community.
As we are being very transparent, this is what it will take:
1. $100,000 - Complete parking lot rebuild and install the columns necessary to support the new structure.
2. $250,000 – Complete modular rebuild (the building).
3. $50,000 – Permits, engineering, inspections, and miscellaneous construction contingencies.
We would have never imagined that we would be closed for so long. Our progress was slow and steady until we demolished our building. Our insurance company has been moderately helpful. We had moderate damage from the accident that initially closed us and that was not a huge deal. The damage looked much worse than from the outside. We thought this would be a quick fix. All along, we were rebuilding the infrastructure and removing all the antiquated electrical wiring while at the same time updating the communications. We continued to repair the building as needed. You may have noticed that there was WI-FI available to you. Our security system was updated, and we believed we followed the current city codes. However, we had just passed a health inspection and prepared to remodel the store’s entrance area and modify our operations so we could have a walk-up service. Also, we continued working with an architect to make the necessary modifications for a new structure.
To our surprise, the city of Chicago examined our building a few days before we were about to make the modifications to the store to allow us to continue operations and they determined that the building was not structurally sound. Under the insurance company’s “Law and Ordinance” clause, it requires the City of Chicago to send them documentation stating that the building is unsound. The City has not sent it and have not been responsive to our constant requests. Regardless, the clause in our policy covers only partial demolition and not the full rebuild. At this point, we could not make the modifications planned.
The accident damaged 25% of the building. The policy only covered this portion of the building. If the car would have driven completely through the building and damaged 100% of the building, it would have completely covered the rebuild and it would have had to be a structurally sound rebuild. This is TRAVELERS insurance with 28 Billion in revenues, a fortune 500 company. We have paid this company entirely too much in premiums to be treated so poorly with all the red tape. An ongoing situation with them has drug this out way beyond our patience and the patience of our loyal customers. Also, COVID-19 has further hindered forward progress. So, to end this chapter of the story, we had no choice but to demolish the store. It appears that the bulk of the rebuild will be in our hands.
People believe that because we stayed crowded that we have a surplus of money.
The facts are:
1. Our prices remained so low over the years that we did not keep up with inflation.
2. Our margins diminished but we continued to pay ourselves and our employees.
None of us had exorbitant salaries. We tried to adhere to the principal foundations laid down by our founders, and especially driven by Mr. Perkins. It hurt his heart every time he had to raise prices a nickel or dime (and that was not often). Usually, that minor increase would just satisfy keeping up with payroll. You never saw any fancy cars or exorbitant evidence of excessive boastful spending at Taurus. He did this because he grew up extremely poor and wanted everyone to be able to afford delicious foods at extremely low prices. When Mr. Perkins passed away a few years ago, the family was resolute in continuing this mantra. This did not allow the family to build adequate reserves for catastrophic events (such as a complete rebuild) in just a few years. Maybe if we had raised our prices over the years to be in line with the inflation rate, we would have had the reserves to weather this storm, but there is more to this story. Hindsight is always 20/20. However, our loyal customers were the winners and we are not salty about that. We consciously chose our customers over profits.
THE REST OF THE STORY: To add insult to injury, before we began updating our security measures and move to a Point of Sales system, we made a shocking discovery. The new measures allowed us to uncover something that had been going on for longer than we could pinpoint. Our employees and even family members had devised a way to skim money from the register amounting to a massive loss over time. Mr. Perkins was a very trusting soul and never suspected or detected the sophisticated stealing scheme that continued until his children discovered this heinous crime. A conservative estimate is that between 2005 and 2015 over $1,500,000 was embezzled from the corporate coffers. We believe that it may have been more. The house has been cleaned, but too little, too late.
It is disheartening to see all the derogatory comments and hurtful speculations that the community now attacks the company that sacrificed a lot to maintain a place that served the community for so many years. The impatience and hurtful comments that people continue to post on our social media outlets has added insult to our injury. If you feel there was mismanagement, lack of insurance, incompetence, or any other speculations, we are saddened by the lack of compassion for all these untruths.
The Perkins family has always been benevolent to the community. We have donated to countless causes and Mr. Perkins donated a great deal of money to his church. He was the type of guy that would rather give his money away for a worthy cause than to buy himself a new pair of shoes.
We will weather the storm and fight to come back with a new structure. It may not be a structure like some of these fast food chains with deep pockets, but it will be a clean and reliable structure that we and the community can be proud of for many years to come.
We want all our Taurus family to keep the faith, wish us well, and continue to provide positive comments while we sort this out.
Where do we go from here?
First, we need to secure the funding necessary to rebuild the structure. We cannot rely solely on inadequate insurance money that will leave us with a shortfall to complete the rebuild. We have exhausted our avenues, including financial help from banks that we helped build for so many years.
We need everyone’s help. We need those who have said they want to help to step up. We are asking those who benefited from underpriced delicious sandwiches for so many years to consider returning the favor through financial support. Will you rally and help an old friend?
We now have a GO FUND ME page to raise the revenue necessary to rebuild and bring the Taurus Flavors brand back to our home on 85th and Stony Island Avenue. Please consider a donation.
With much Appreciation and Thanking you in Advance,