Local Business, local people
Eat local, shop local, you may have heard these phrases before. As Stacie and I travel around the east valley of Arizona our hope is to showcase local businesses and restaurants….owned by local people, our neighbors. Shopping at locally owned places is better for the community, and builds a sense of community. Knowing our neighbors and supporting them makes the community stronger for everyone. That is what Stacie and I are trying to share with all of you….our community…where we all live, raise our families, and live out life’s daily ups and downs TOGETHER.
Randy Walters is the owner of Wimpy’s Paradise, and someone I had the absolute pleasure to meet and talk to today. I have seen newspaper articles, and tons on social media about Wimpy’s Paradise because Randy has found his way into the hearts of lots his neighbors in Chandler. I don’t know what makes Randy so special….I think it is a number of things that just come together to make this man one of Chandler’s absolute gems.
The food that is served at at Wimpy’s has a reputation equal to Randy’s. Hamburgers and hot dogs, America’s favorites are the specialties. Stacie and I decided to go off the beaten path and try the chicken tortilla soup (Stacie) and the soup in a burrito, which is what I had. The burritos came about on a cold day (probably in the 60’s) when Randy wanted to serve soup to the people watching the parade outside….and so he put the warm soup in a burrito for easy eating! Absolutely delicious!
Hamburgers and hot dogs are not all Wimpy’s offers
Randy sat with us when he wasn’t helping other customers. He shared his story, and asked us ours. We hadn’t planned to have such a deep, heartfelt conversation over lunch…but we shared because we knew Randy’s interest was genuine. Everything about Randy is genuine.
Wimpy’s Paradise is the name of the restaurant Randy’s father had before he had to go fight in World War II. While he was away the restaurant had to close down. Randy remembers his father telling him his only regret in life was not opening Wimpy’s Paradise back up …he had gotten a safer job to support his growing family after her returned from the war. Randy got into the business in the economic nightmare known as 2008. When he lost his job, he bought a hotdog cart…and had lots of luck with that until 2013 when he opened Wimpy’s Paradise in downtown Chandler.
Community… where we take care of our own
Randy touched both Stacie and I today…and quite honestly brought us both to tears during lunch. He shared a story that I think shows what a community can do for each other. In a span of two weeks he suffered a heart attack, had his hot dog stand stolen, and lost a cash deposit before he made it to the bank. It was a perfect storm…and he had to deal with it from the hospital. Randy reached out via social media and asked people to eat at Wimpy’s so he didn’t go out of business while recovering. That simple request for help resulted in lines coming out of his restaurant all day long, someone started a GoFundMe to help him recover the lost deposit, and the tips were flowing. The community came together to help one of their own…a friend, a neighbor, a business owner. That is what life is about, that is what most of us want from life….to feel cared about, to feel a part of, to know you matter. Randy will never forget what his community did for him, so he continues to pay it forward every single day…his kindness and generosity are apparent immediately.
If you want a delicious burger or hot dog, or on Sunday if you want an amazing breakfast….head on down to Wimpy’s Paradise for a meal and a friendship. You will feel like Randy has been waiting for you.
48 S. San Marcos Place in downtown Chandler just south of Chandler Blvd on the west side of Arizona Avenue