George Chatzopoulos came to the US in 1989 and immediately started working alongside his father in the restaurant business. After learning every role from dishwasher to chef, George had the experience and knowledge he needed to set out on his own in 2003 and Chip's restaurant was born. For the first few years, sales were steady but he knew he had the potential to do even better, so he turned to SCORE for the jumpstart his business needed.
Thanks to the guidance of SCORE mentors, Chuck Lipetz and Bill McLeod, the original location in Orange, CT was thriving and George knew it was time to open a second location. In 2008, his dream came true and the Fairfield location of Chip's celebrated its grand opening. The new restaurant seats 180 customers and is open 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. It employs 65 employees, 50% of whom were unemployed when hired.
Beyond serving people great food at reasonable prices, George goes above and beyond the call of a typical restaurant to serve his community. He frequently hosts fundraising days where all sales (and employee tips) during a 4-hour period are donated to a local cause – everything from food banks to cancer organizations, struggling single parents to veterans’ homes. On Thanksgiving day, Chip's Fairfield location collected $10,000 in donations to Operation Hope (www.operationhopect.org), a local organization providing food and shelter to the community.
It was Chatzopoulos’s success as an entrepreneur and his humanitarian work that garnered him the 2011 SCORE Bridgeport Client of the Year Award.