Detroit Native Olga Loizon, Founder of Olga’s Kitchen, Dies at 92
Olga Loizon, the founder of Olga's Kitchen, has died at the age of 92.
The Detroit News reports Loizon died from natural causes while surrounded by family at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak on Monday.
Olga's Kitchen says, Olga, a Detroit native and daughter of Greek immigrants, was first inspired to open a restaurant after visiting family in the Mediterranean in the mid-60s. Her first step was to purchase a vertical rotisserie to cook the meat. She was refused because she was a woman, so she gave her money to her uncle so he could buy the machine. The rest is history.
Olga opened her first restaurant in 1970 at Continental Market in Birmingham. She saw a 10 x 10 space was closing and secured a loan from her bank to open the restaurant. She was the first woman to get a loan from her bank.
The Birmingham restaurant later grew into a chain of over 50 locations across the country. Today, there are 27 Olga's Kitchen restaurants, 26 in Michigan and one in Illinois.
Donations in Olga's memory are being accepted at the Olga Loizon Memorial Foundation. The foundation recognizes Loizon's passion and ambition and seeks to provide an annual grant to aspiring female entrepreneurs in Michigan who possess those same qualities.