All Together Now co-owner Erin Carlman Weber joined Here Here Market to talk about this groovy little Ukrainian Village restaurant, natural wine shop, and cheese counter that's all about good people sharing good food. All Together Now sources ingredients from Chicago urban growers and Upper Midwest farms in order to cut and sprinkle their crackers with love and cook preserves down from the season's most delicious fruits. Did we mention they also roll, boil, and bake their own bagels every week?? If you want to get your hands on some tasty treats from All Together Now, check out our Female Founders Collection!
The restaurant industry is about connection. Being able to facilitate the various ways that people come together around food and drink is a gift that I am thankful for every day.
Erin Carlman Weber
Co-Owner, All Together Now
All Together Now celebrated its first birthday in December 2019 and is coming up on it's third! This was co-owner and founder Erin Carlman Weber’s first time opening a business and after spending her entire career in the industry, and she quickly learned how different the day-to-day operations feel when you are the one that everyone turns to for an answer. Despite the learning curve, she and her partners Derek Herbster and Chris Radtke laid a strong foundation that has helped sustain them throughout the tumultuous events of the last year and a half.
On the day-to-day, we are actually more stable now than we were in that first year. We have evolved in almost every way possible because of the pandemic. We decided early on to take on a mix of activities to continue our business and they have thankfully been successful. We’re still making all the sales we had been doing before - just all take away now. We recently have opened our doors for in person shopping and it is great to see bodies coming in and out of the space again.
Erin dreamt that ATN would become essential to the neighborhood and the support from the area has been gratifying and humbling. She and the team are have held on the mission of bringing fun and normal to people’s homes and plates, even during a hard time. Erin has also been serving as a role model while parenting two small children.
Having my children present throughout this experience has been really special. The blending of family and restaurant has created a lot of lasting memories - moments where I realize that I am out of coffee and the three of us run over to have a dance party in the empty space. We’re having a good time and I’m teaching them about being an entrepreneur.
Over and over again, restaurant and business owners have told us how supportive the Chicago community is. Erin appreciates that folks are willing, and able, to be a resource - it is easy to call up a friend of a friend for advice, referrals for vendors, and beyond. People are always willing to share what they have learned.
The front line workers of the industry - the line cooks and servers - have so many connections and passions. They are an inspiration to Erin and ATN because all the threads woven together make a really bright culture.
I wish there was a greater value placed on the work of servers and line cooks. Those roles are often treated as fallback jobs, but there is so much dignity to the role of people feeding us - especially right now.
Obviously it is a complex issue because of the pay and tipping system. The last few months have laid bare the house of cards the industry exists on. I’d love to see a re-evaluation of the worth of restaurant work. We need to treat it like a “real” job with benefits, retirement and insurance - what would happen to the industry? Only good things.
No matter how small the task, Erin has always treated her work like the most important thing in the world - and she has built her career on it. All Together Now is dedicated to providing a funky, fun place to grab some fare to brighten up your meals - check them out!