Mitts also celebrated the grand opening of a new West Side Aldi’s store on March 11. With the recent closing of the Oak Park store in February, some of those employees were transferred to the new location at 1440 N. Kostner.

“What was so wonderful about it, we had like four days to put a grand opening together,” Mitts said. “Retail knows how to bring in money; they don’t know anything about bringing the community together. So it takes the community, elected officials and everybody working together. Because we have such a loving community, we’re excited about new business coming in, so we felt we needed to celebrate and put on a grand opening. We brought in three schools, West Park Academy, Brian Piccolo and Alfred Nobel. Young people playing violins opened with the Star Spangled Banner. [This is] one of the state-of-the-art Aldi’s in the city of Chicago. With an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient look, it’s creating jobs for the neighborhood.

Mitts said more than 100 jobs were created at the new store – from retail positions to construction of the store. She added that the new store isn’t replacing an existing business.

“Everything we’re doing in the community is on vacant locations – nothing was there. We’re only just putting in something where nothing was so we can’t run anything out.”