By: Seth Johnson

While they may be known for dishing up delicious Chicago-style pizza, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is also a business built on giving back to the community.

Staff and students from ISBVI’s STEP program pose with staff from the Lou Malnati’s Broad Ripple location. The group appears to be standing in front of a large mural that’s been painted on a wall, which prominently features the Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria logo.In 1971, co-founders Lou and Jean Malnati hosted their first annual charity event to raise a scholarship fund for a local athlete. Ever since then, the much-loved pizza chain has worked to serve the community however it can — hence why Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is a strong supporter of the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation.

“We like to continue the vision of Lou and Jean,” says Jennifer Trenner, grassroots marketing and sales specialist with Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. “We’re all about community.”

Since first having a conversation with IBCF executive director Laura Alvarado last January, Trenner and her Lou Malnati’s team have donated pizza on multiple occasions to IBCF functions, while also treating students and staff on the TOCAF Bright Lights, Big City, Chicago Extravaganza to a multi-course meal. Additionally, the Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in Broad Ripple has offered career development opportunities to ISBVI students as part of the school’s Student Training and Employment Program (STEP).

“We did that last summer, and I’m sure we’re going to do it again this summer,” Trenner says of the pizzeria’s involvement with STEP. “That was really beneficial for all parties.”

In reflecting on their partnership with IBCF, Trenner says she and the Lou Malnati’s team have simply enjoyed all the interactions they’ve had with students, staff, and teachers.

“You guys have such a great group of people over there,” Trenner says. “When we first started talking to Laura, it just felt like a good foundation to be a part of. The school is right there near Broad Ripple. The kids are wonderful, and the teachers are great.”



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