Colonial Café continues long history of charitable giving

Adela Crandall Durkee for Chronicle Media

Linda Davis drops a donation in the red kettle and gets a free sundae from Colonial Café for her generosity.

Colonial Café is, again, helping warm the hearts of the less fortunate this season.

In a partnership the Salvation Army that began in 1951, Colonial Café matched the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle collection at its seven restaurants Dec. 10.

One hundred fifteen years ago, Simon Anderson borrowed $70 to begin his own business because he loved a young woman. Four generations later, the Anderson family continues to work hard and invest in love.

What began as a milk delivery business in St. Charles, became today’s Colonial Café and Restaurant and Creamery in Naperville, Aurora, Elgin, St. Charles, Algonquin, and Crystal Lake.

Not only did Anderson’s business and family thrive, but he passed down his hard work ethic, customer service, and honesty.

Guyette Hunter from McHenry rings the bell for the Salvation Army from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. She says it’s a blessing to her to participate.

From his “Rules to be Observed” on the milk route, he included, “Smoking is positively prohibited,” “keep away from saloons,” and “An honest man is the noblest work of God.”

Four generations later, Clinton Anderson expanded Colonial Café’s “Rules to be Observed” to include more than gentlemanly demeanor.

Colonial Café partners with local organizations’ fundraisers in what the Andersons call “Care Nights.” On those nights, 15 percent of the profits are donated to the organization’s cause. In 2016, Colonial Café donated more than $15,000 through “Care Nights.”

For the past six years, Colonial Café matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000 the donations collected at the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle collection at their restaurants.

“In recent years, the match has reached the $30,000 mark,” said Jim Smick, manager of the Crystal Lake restaurant.

All contributions support services and programs of the local The Salvation Army units.

The Salvation Army in Crystal Lake serves McHenry County and provides emergency assistance to individuals and families who find themselves without the necessities for survival. Assistance can include emergency shelter, rent assistance with eviction notice, utility bill assistance wih disconnect notice, medical prescriptions assistance, clothing and winter coat vouchers and  emergency food.

The Corps Community Center, located at 290 West Crystal Lake Ave., also offers educational and recreational programs for children, senior meal delivery and dining program, character building for youth, summer camp, fellowship; a place to worship and more.

Visit for more information about The Salvation Army.

Everyone who donated to The Salvation Army on Dec. 10 received a special treat card from Colonial Café. Another way that the Andersons continue to spread the love.