Eric Roy Jr Surf’s Up Chicago President
Eric Roy, a Chicago native, was raised on the west side of Chicago before moving to Maywood as a teenager and was always an entrepreneur. He attended St. Ignatius High School in Chicago before going on to acquire a Chemistry degree from the University of Illinois and also a B.S. In Accounting from Governors State University. He began his career as a restaurateur after working as a tax accountant for KPMG LL and also after being an auditor for four years with the Florida Department of Revenue. After consulting with a close friend who owned a popular restaurant franchise in Chicago and receiving some hands-on training from his college, he decided to start his own restaurant chain and with the help of his family Surf’s Up Chicago was born on January 20, 2012 with the first restaurant in Hillside, IL. After ten months at the first Surf’s Up location in Hillside the owners of the property decided that they would be demolishing the building where the restaurant was located after losing their anchor tenant Menards, a popular home improvement retail store chain. Although this was a major setback to Surf’s Up at the time it was not enough to stop Eric from pushing forward with his dream to establish his own chain of restaurants. After a six month hiatus from the restaurant business Eric went at it again with a new Surf’s Up location now on the west side of Chicago on Madison St. Subsequent to opening the Madison Street location people began to inquire about franchising and licensing Eric’s Surf’s Up concept for their own business ventures, which ultimately led to the opening of two additional Surf’s Up locations, one on the southeast side of Chicago and one in Maywood, IL, where Eric was raised from a teenager to a young adult. Eric looks at Surf’s Up as more than just a business venture. He feels that his restaurant chain is also a movement for the community being that there are no large restaurant chains owned by African Americans anywhere in the world and he believes that his organization will be the first nationwide restaurant chain founded and owned by African Americans thereby fulfilling his lifelong dream of one day owning a great business and also being able to help the community and all those involved in making his dream become a reality.