top of page
Apron Ceremony

Who We Are 

We are a community-driven business built by local people

who enrich and share time and funds through the Brewing Opportunities Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Our unique & inclusive employment model makes us competitive, if not the best!   

We are creating an exceptional environment which will provide  joy through human interaction.  

Our creative and modern menu will be made fresh daily, with quality, seasonal ingredients; made by “Exceptional People”!

Why Gerry's Café... 

  • When you visit Gerry's Cafe,  a feeling of joy with a welcome like no other will infuse your day. It will be contagious. Did we mention the great food, inviting and comfortable atmosphere?

  • Donations directly  benefit that special person serving the customer.  The customer who chooses their coffee, bakery items, lunch or catering allows an exceptional person the opportunity to earn a living and be an active contributor to society.

  • We will provide local & valued people (friends and professionals) the opportunity to offer their expertise,  time, trades and skills to build and sustain a truly vital & needed community establishment.

  • Our team of employees will be able to advocate for themselves through work performance and tangible accomplishment.

Gerry's Story... 

The name for Gerry’s Café is in honor of Amy’s Aunt, Geralyn Wehmer.

Gerry was the youngest of six children, her eldest sibling was 23 at the time of her arrival.  In 1958, it was strongly recommended that children with Down Syndrome be institutionalized. Gerry’s mother & father would consider only one place for Gerry, Misericordia.  There was quite a waiting list at the time, so Gerry went home and changed the family forever. Gerry was a ray of sunshine, a constant energy in the house.  Gerry brought unconditional Love Laughter & Joy to her family and truly changed the way people perceived a child with Down Syndrome.
Misercordia called one day to announce Gerry’s space was ready, but Gerry’s place was with 
her family, in her home.  Gerry’s time on this earth was not long,

she died one month shy of her 4th birthday.

We honor Geralyn Wehmer with Gerry’s Café.  In her name we will provide a place of employment where her community can thrive, feel purpose, contribute and bring the same joy she brought to her family and friends.

Natalie's Story... 

Who is Natalie Griffin?

Natalie is an educator, an entrepreneur and a volunteer with a passion to serve those in need.  She and her husband, Gene, have enjoyed raising their family in Arlington Heights for 30+ years.


Natalie worked as a Special Education Teacher at Kirk School in Palatine and for Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization (NSSEO) for 11 years after graduating from the University of Illinois.  She served as a classroom teacher then later as an itinerant teacher working with children ages 3-21 years old.  She did her best to meet the individual needs of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Spina Bifida and a variety of other medical conditions. Natalie then stepped away as an educator to focus on raising her family.  


As  a volunteer, she worked for various organizations supporting her own three children and their peers in school, Girl Scouts, sports, theater, choir, church, and more. Natalie  served on several non-profit boards and volunteered for Clearbrook Center as a Respite Care provider.


Natalie stayed active as an educator while working as a

substitute teacher in Arlington Heights School District 25

for seven years.


Natalie started her own jewelry business in 2012, at first

for a direct sales company, and later formed her own LLC

as a jewelry boutique pop up and online business.  

Natalie Griffin

Amy's Story... 

Who is Amy Philpott?

As the former owner of what she refers to as the “The Cheers of Arlington Heights” (AKA the Tuscan Market & Wine Shop), Amy Philpott knows the northwest suburbs and the power of living in a wonderful community.  Amy has a tremendous sphere of relationships, both in business and the local community.   Her relentless work ethic sets her apart from many of her peers and she has proven herself as seasoned and trusted broker.  Amy is intuitive, patient and thorough in her service style with her clients.

Amy, a California native, has relocated on multiple occasions in her previous jobs as operations management at FedEx and Trader Joe's.  Corporate and personal experience allow Amy to share strategy, area knowledge and data analysis to counsel her clients.  Amy places a strong emphasis on client service and communication.  Her clients are more than a “deal” and the post close relationship is even more important to her.  

Amy resides in Palatine but her time owning and operating a small business, working alongside the local Chamber of Commerce and government, Amy knows all about Arlington Heights.   Her area knowledge and sales area cover from Chicago city limit, to the far western and northern Illinois borders. Amy has extensive knowledge of northern lake properties near the Wisconsin border if boating is your thing.   Whether you are buying or leasing,

selling or investing, Amy’s goal is make your real estate

transaction seamless and successful!


In her spare time, Amy is co-founder of Brewing

Opportunities-Gerry’s Café, a registered non-profit.  

Gerry’s Café will be a full service café employing adults

with cognitive disabilities.  Named after Amy’s Aunt Gerry,

who was born with Down Syndrome, Amy has been

diligently working on the creation, planning and fundraising

of Gerry's Café in her spare time.  The mission of the café will in in

Arlington Heights.  As you can imagine, Amy makes the most out of

every hours of the day.

Amy holds a degree in Behavioral Science from The University of San Diego. Through the National Association of Realtors she’s a certified Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), a Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE), and Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA). Amy served as the 2015 President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.  Amy was voted Arlington Heights Business Leader of the Year in 2016, received the 2010 Cook County Heroine of the Year and was the 2010 recipient of the Business Leader Heart of Gold Village` Village of Arlington Heights.

Amy Philpott
Gerry's Cafe logo
bottom of page