It's More Than A Closing in Muscatine - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

It's More Than A Closing in Muscatine

Updated: Jan 24, 2013 06:17 PM CST

On the surface, it's just another restaurant closing.

Just another business struggling during a tough time.

But in reality - it's much more than that.

Snackers 2 in Muscatine is owned and operated by Goodwill Of The Heartland - an offshoot of Goodwill - that specializes in finding jobs more mentally and physically disabled people.

They employ 17 people - all of them being forced to find employment somewhere else.

"We've managed the restaurant for nine years and every year we've operated at a loss," says Heartland VP of Marketing, Dana Englebert, "In 2012 we hit a landmark and lost about $100,000 in one year on the restaurant... And that's just not sustainable."

Some Heartland clients and Snackers' employees have been there for several years, like Tina Wilson, who may not be completely sure why she must leave a place where she met so many friends.

"Why would they do that? We have plenty of people who come in and eat and.... I just don't understand."

Tina isn't the only one struggling with the closing. 

Stephanie Hartman is the job coach here.

She is responsible for teach clients the skills they will need to work here and around the community. 

"I'm upset... Disappointed. We were like a family here. They put a smile on your face every day."

And while there is a lunch rush on this afternoon. It's a hard realization that this will soon be coming to a close. 

"You see the joy on people's faces because of being here," Englebert continues, "That's a tough thing to let go of."


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