Meet Berwyn’s Entrepreneurs: Jamie Macchione of Flapjack Brewery

Meet James Macchione of Flapjack Brewery (6833 W Stanley Ave), est. 2013
Hometown: Berwyn
Current Residence: Chicago
All About Jamie: James Macchione was born in Berwyn and spent most of his life there. This is where his pizza obsession started; his parents, Emily and Bob, would make homemade pizza every week. He attended St. Leonard School in Berwyn and then went on to St. Joseph High school. After high school, he attended Culinary School at Triton College and worked at several Chicagoland restaurants. He moved to Oak Park in 2002 and attended DePaul University, obtaining a degree in Finance. James began working at the Chicago Board Options Exchange from 2000 until 2015, working in the equity option pits under a variety of titles such as clerk, broker and market-maker throughout the years. In 2013, he moved to Chicago with his expecting wife Caroline and in 2017, he came full circle and opened Flapjack Brewery in Berwyn with his brother, Paulie.

The Business Side: Flapjack Brewery is located on the outskirts of Chicago in Berwyn’s historic depot district at 6833 Stanley Ave.  Berwyn-born brothers Paul and James Macchione began work on the project in early 2013.  After a long journey, the brewery opened its doors on April, 22 2017 for Berwyn’s mini golf pub crawl.  Flapjack is dedicated to bringing true craft back to Berwyn—everything is made in house with the exception of the ciders and wines. Paul brews each hand-crafted beer on-site in the 1,100 square foot brewery located in the back of the taproom. In the kitchen, James preps everything fresh daily (go ahead and search, but a freezer will not be found on the premises). Each pizza is hand-stretched to order and is baked in our  wood-fired oven.  Flapjack Brewery: Berwyn Born. Berwyn Brewed.

Describe yourself using 3 words
Creative:….Because my wife said so 🙂
Generous: I’m very generous with my time, when I have any. I put my family first and make sure they are taken care of before I worry about myself. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge in the kitchen with our staff, showing them different cooking techniques or explaining a new product.
Ambitious: Once I start a project that I am passionate about, I become engulfed in it, learn everything possible about it and won’t stop until I get my desired results.

What inspires you?
The people that have come before me, the ones who have built businesses from scratch, the ones who have made it. It drives me every day, it shows me that no matter what the challenge—and we’ve had hundreds while opening and running Flapjack Brewery—that as long as I keep moving forward and don’t give up, I will succeed.

Tell us something that people might not know about you.
People know that I am from Berwyn, but what they don’t know is that I was born at home. It was a snowy January 3rd in 1976. The doctor came to my parents house to deliver me and legend has it I was weighed on a fish scale. When I tell people this they look at me as if I was born in a barn in the 1800’s.

What makes you laugh?
My brother Paul. Running a business with family can be tough, real tough, but Paul and I have this relationship where we love to joke around. No matter how crazy it is during service, I know that I can go back into the brewhouse, where Paul is usually sampling beer from the fermenters, and horse around as if we were little kids again.

What is your favorite Karaoke song?
One of the best songs to be released in 1988, Taylor Dayne’s Tell It to My Heart. Not sure where it began or why but my friend Vincent Di Sandro and I perform a duet to this song whenever we get a chance (but always after a few beers). The most rewarding part about it are the looks of disgust and lack of applause during our walk back to our table from the karaoke station. They’re just jealous!

What gets you through a rough day?
My Family. No matter how rough of a day it is, I always know that as long I get through I have my family to go home to. You may have noticed that in the Flapjack kitchen I have my own artist corner, loaded with a bunch of drawings that the kids make me. There is a picture of my daughter up there, when it gets really bad I go to that wall and take a look at her, take a few deep breaths and it resets my mind. If that doesn’t work, I’ll have Joey pour me a beer.

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