Monique is now Zorn’s director of customer and employee relations, and oversees the needs of more than 140 employees.
Zorn’s is a third-generation family owned and operated restaurant and caterer that is known across Long Island for having the finest in home-cooked takeout, offering more than 200 homemade items on their menu. Because of Monique, Zorn’s has been taken from its quiet existence as a Bethpage company and is now known Island-wide for its community and corporate giving.
“All we know is how to work hard,” Monique says about Zorn’s history. Along with her father, Joe, and brothers, Peter and Marc, Monique said, “We all have our own jobs to do.”
“I have five brothers and I’m right in the middle,” she says. “They are my heroes.”
Though the Zorn petting zoo now ceases to exist, the name still conjures up wonderful memories for thousands of Long Islanders. The Zorn’s were pioneers in the poultry business, and in 1950, were the first to sell rotisserie chicken.
“Everything here is made from scratch,” Monique explains. “Potatoes are hand peeled, there are no preservatives used in anything. Our recipes taste like your mother is in the kitchen cooking. We choose to do this the hard way, it’s not easy.”
But despite all of their successes, Monique knew that it was time to take the family business to the next level.
“I knew [networking] was the direction we needed to go,” Monique says.“I have always wanted to go to these events and I didn’t have anyone to go with. I belonged to LIA [the business and civic organization Long Island Association] since 1980 and never went to anything. But, once I got out there, I kept going to a lot more events.” She adds, “Not many people knew that we provide catering from backyard barbeques to white-glove events.”
Monique has evolved into the embodiment of a “people person” while her brothers are content to do their work behind the scenes. “I am their ‘chew toy’”, she says, laughing. “Peter and Marc tell me ‘You do it.’”
Monique has already seen the results: Last year, she was awarded the LIA ‘s Entrepreneruial Success Award. “Corporate catering has gotten a lot busier”, she says proudly. “If you want new business, you have to go out and get it.”
As Monique hit the Long Island networking circuit, she began getting involved with Long Island charities, including putting on boxing gloves and taking it on the chin at the Long Island Fight for Charity.
Monique does everything in a big way. As her employee Marie Aherns told me, “There are people constantly walking into the store for donations. No one is turned away.” Monique made it possible for Island Harvest to pick up food every day, with Zorn’s donating over 200,000 pounds of food to the needy last year alone. At Thanksgiving, Zorn’s donates turkeys to various charities across the Island.
For the future, Monique is working with the Institute of Children with Autism to start a pilot program where autistic adults will be provided internships at Zorn’s. Monique is always available to assist her employees and her community and says, “If they need me, I do whatever I can do to help.”
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