After 90 years, Burr Ridge business still family owned and run

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Dolores Lewandowski Wasylik, 93, and Don Lewandowski, 86, are still in charge. (WLS)

As a rule, small businesses don't last long.

As a matter of fact, less than 50 percent make it past four years.

But one South Side family has just completed 90 years in operation.

Midwest Promotional Group has moved from Chicago's South Side and is now in Burr Ridge. But it's still the same company run by the same family for 90 years. All those years and the Lewandowskis are still at the helm.

Dolores Lewandowski Wasylik, 93, and Don Lewandowski, 86, are still in charge. Dolores is the internal auditor, counting every penny that comes in and out. Don is still making sales calls and makes sure the shop is in top form. And it all goes back to their mom and dad.

"The year was 1926. It was formed, and it all happened at 37th and Paulina on the South Side in back of the stockyards," said Don Lewandowski.

Alex and Marie Lewandowski lived upstairs from their small shop and raised their family there. They printed personalized calendars, the kind you might see in banks and gas stations. And it's still the same business.

"We sell anything you can put your name on, anything to advertise your name we put it on," Wasylik said.

They still have their original printing press, the one that got the business off the ground

"The printing press from the 1920s. My mother printed calendars here," said Lewandowski. "Millions of them, I thought so anyway."

From a tiny shop on the South Side to the worldwide organization in Burr Ridge. But you know the neatest thing about this? It's still family.

"We love each other and we work together. We play hard, and we work hard. And we were taught that by way of our parents," said Lewandowski.

And it all started with their dad's $75 investment.
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