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“When your business is a part of the community, you feel the ups and downs.”

The Shamrock, located in downtown Utica, is a local institution. They’re famous for their burgers – and their long-standing positive relationship with the community.

Owner Joe Mayernik explains -

“We’ve served generation after generation of hungry and thirsty autoworkers and their families since 1935. Of course we serve more than autoworkers, but here in Macomb County, that label is worn with pride – and if you yourself don’t work on the factory floor, you definitely know someone who does. You’re probably related to him, or her. Or your livelihood depends on them.”

In 2009, when shifts were cut back or wholly eliminated at nearby auto plants, long-time customers grew uneasy. Even customers who still had jobs lived with the persistent anxiety of losing their jobs – which was enough to cut back on expenses like going out to eat.

“This restaurant is part of the fabric of this community – you don’t get to 77 years in business unless you’re part of the community. And when you’re a part of the community, you feel the ups and downs. “

After a rough patch, Joe saw his business pick up again after President Obama stepped in to restructure an industry that employed many of his customers.

“I can’t stress this enough: these are decent people who have done exactly what you’re supposed to do: work hard, play by the rules, support a family, who live with that hope we all share: that our children will be able to live a better life than we had.”

Tell us what kind of impact the auto rescue has had on your family.

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