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Community Advocacy Organization

Creating Opportunities-Eastside Fish Fry

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

By Yanice Jackson-Long

Henry Myer is not your typical restaurant owner. He is a socially conscience person, who is willing to do to go the extra mile to be of service to the community. Henry was born and raised in Lansing, MI. He attended Lansing public schools and graduated from Eastern High School. Henry has a passion for helping non-violent offenders, because he has had the experience of trying to get re-adjusted after a period incarceration, for growing marijuana plants. Henry was a non-violent offender who know all too well how a record of a felony-no matter the charge-creates barriers to gainful employment.

Henry utilized a vacant piece of property owned by his father after returning home. Henry cleaned up the place and starting cooking food for friends and family. After receiving great feedback, he decided to take a chance in the restaurant business. Even though Henry started “Eastside Fish Fry” out of necessity to support his family, it turned out to be the right decision for him.

After starting the business, he matured quickly as a business owner. This diamond in the rough, would prove to be just the gem Lansing needed. Since Henry was familiar with the challenges of securing employment after getting a felony on a record, he decided to open his doors to non-violent offenders looking for gainful employment. Henry’s desire to “Pay it Forward” would help turn Eastside Fish Fry into one of the most popular eateries in mid-Michigan.

In 2017, Eastside Fish Fry was featured on the Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. He was nominated customers and selected to be featured on the popular television show.

Eastside Fish Fry post COVID-19

Since the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus Henry has seen quite a change in his business. Although Eastside has seen a huge influx of business, the type of orders has change leaving it more difficult to make a profit. Approximately fifty percent of the orders since the pandemic have been delivery. With more delivery orders, more money is paid in fees, as a result of paying third party delivery services. Henry has also had to hire more people to serve keep up with all the new business. Even with all of this going on, Henry’s main concern is taking care of his workers, so they can help take care of the people in need of food within the Lansing area. “We are not all I the same boat as far as work goes, so we want to make sure first responders or other essential workers have food when they need it. The economy would not keep going without them, there we need to help take care of them”.

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