Most locals know that St. Joseph takes care of its own.
If asked to describe the feeling among business owners and community members, words like “committed” and “like family” would come up for sure. You can see this demonstrated in every corner of the city, but it shines even brighter among some individuals and their families.
Jen and Jay Martin can’t help but make things better just by being who they are. Jen and her family own the two Little Caesar’s stores in St. Joseph, which is much, much more than awesome pizza in a flash. It’s about giving back generously to community needs and causes and mentoring the team that works with them every chance they get.
The Martins encourage their employees to learn the ropes while sharing life skills they’ve learned along the way in a generous atmosphere. The stores have several longtime employees and have a commitment to promote from within when possible. Jen, selected to be part of the Little Caesar’s corporate leadership committee, shares branding innovations and insights across the teams to help the stores maintain their strong success – so that they can, in turn, continue giving back to St. Joseph.
“We moved several times as a child, due to my dad’s military service career, so I was used to meeting new people. But St. Joseph has become home for sure, and we really love the way people here are genuine and they want to come alongside each other. It’s not perfect, like anything, but you don’t see this kind of thinking every day. We’re really glad to be part of the business community and a lot of other aspects of St. Joe life.”
Jay Martin is right there alongside Jen in this way of thinking as an Employee Relations Manager for Specialty Industries. “It’s a privilege to see the joy that our employees experience through meaningful employment,” says Jay. “I had an employee’s father tell me the other day that his son jumps out of bed every workday at 6:30 a.m., excited about the day ahead.”
Specialty Industries, chartered in 1966, leads the region in meaningful employment for adults with disabilities by partnering with area businesses and manufacturers for contract packaging services. Services are offered with simultaneous goals of promoting a better understanding of the capabilities and employability of individuals with disabilities while being a premier manufacturing partner in the St. Joseph community.
Jay also volunteers for community theater and the United Way, among other community efforts.
Together, the couple is raising their son, Jude, to look for positive ways to make a difference. He is an active participant in local theater and volunteers for various local initiatives.
This week, we raise our coffee mugs to Jen and Jay Martin in the name of local entrepreneurship, leadership and their “roll up your sleeves” commitment to sharing their talents for good.