Wrapped up in family business
By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent December 7, 2012 3:36PM
Jerwan Jones prepares a wrap as his wife Kisha creates an elephant ear at the Wrap City restaurant in Gary Nov. 26, 2012. The Jones' Original Elephant Ear operates inside Wrap City. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
AT A GLANCE
Wrap City, 3712 Grant St., Gary (next to Car-X)
is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sundays. To order by phone, call
980-6264. The Original Elephant Ear’s number
to order is 902-7775.
Updated: January 11, 2013 6:08AM
If you are looking for an alternative to fast food or need to satisfy your sweet tooth, there’s a family-owned and operated eatery that opened in October that can give you both with two businesses in one place.
Juanice Brown and her daughter Leslie Jones are the owners of Wrap City, which offers a variety of wraps ranging from a veggie wrap to a black-pepper-chicken wrap to a Southern wrap. They also make garden and chicken Caesar salad bowls, soup and large spuds with a choice of toppings.
It’s the wraps that are becoming a sensation.
“We get a lot of customers due to word-of-mouth and our Facebook page,” Jones said.
The wraps are huge and cut in half so customers can dig right in. The wraps and garden bowls come in flavors like wheat, spinach and tomato basil.
“My creation is the Major Wrap. It’s steak, Chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream.”
The sweet side of Wrap City is The Original Elephant Ear, owned and operated by Brown’s son Jerwan Jones and daughter-in-law Kisha Jones.
Jerwan and Kisha have owned The Original Elephant Ear for nearly six years, originally starting at Market City, which is owned by Embassies of Christ. Jerwan is general manager of Market City.
“Jerwan wanted me to do something to create another business; I have a printing company in Portage and we create our billboards, signs and more,” Kisha Jones said. “I started looking into making elephant ears. I started making them and they were a hit at Market City because they’re available year-round instead of whenever a carnival or circus comes to town.”
They have various flavors of elephant ears including strawberry obsession and peanut butter and jelly.
“We drizzle the peanut butter and jelly,” she said.
They also have 12 types of milkshakes made with ice cream.
Meanwhile, Brown and Leslie were looking for ideas for a new restaurant here.
“I came up with the idea for wraps after deciding we’d not do another soul food place,” Leslie said. “And mama found this building, which used to be a fish restaurant, so we went for it.”
Kisha said at the time she and her husband wanted to expand The Original Elephant Ear and his mother offered to share the building.
Menu prices from both businesses are less than $10 for various items.
“We are happy to serve the community and this type of family business works out great,” Kisha said.