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The Barstool Fund - Dairy Land Family Restaurant

Fund update… 60 businesses have been funded.  Over 16 million raised.  Let's keep going.  Every dollar matters.

Up next: Dairy Land Family Restaurant (Madison, WI)

Opened and operated since 1986, Dairy Land is a family owned restaurant which gains a great amount of joy in creating joy to others. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, Dairy Land makes locals, as well as visitors, feel right at home.

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Reader Email

My name is Dri (dree) Zyteja (za-tay-ya) and I’m writing this on behalf of our family’s restaurant that’s been in business for 35 years. My grandpa first moved to the US about 40 years ago. At that time, it was very hard to leave our home country, Macedonia. A small country next to Italia and Greece. He started out in Chicago working 2 jobs at a time, mostly in restaurants and bars, and picking up a third whenever possible. He would get maybe 3-4 hours of sleep a night. My grandma, dad, and aunts were still back in the homeland because they wouldn’t let them leave the country all together. My grandpa would send most of the money he made back home. Only living off what he absolutely needed. He saved up enough money until he could afford to purchase a restaurant of his own. It used to be a Dairy Queen, he didn’t know too much English at the time, so he he just knocked off the queen and added land to it. Plus, naming a restaurant Dairyland in the dairy state was a great move on his part. This slowly allowed my grandma, dad, aunts and uncles to move to the US. Have you seen my Big Fat Greek wedding? Well my family’s restaurant had the same plot in real life. That could be why it’s their favorite movie. Everyone that worked in the restaurant was family in the beginning. My grandpa did something amazing and it shows the kind of selfless man he is. He split the profits so everyone who was working was getting an equal cut and their fair share. He didn’t get more than the dishwasher or the cook because 1, he’s done those jobs and he knows how much work they take, and 2, everyone’s family. He always says, there’s plenty to go around. This also allowed my other family members, my aunts and uncles to start up their own restaurants/bars throughout Wisconsin years after starting at Dairyland. Fast forward 35 years, my 80 year old grandpa is still working part time. He says it’s because he loves it, real reason is grandma wants him out of the house. My dad has taken over the family business for quite some time and is the hardest working man I know. We are open from 6am-9pm and he is there 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, open 365 days a year. We stay open on holidays because a lot of our customers are elderly and they might not have anywhere to go. But they always have a spot at Dairyland. On Thanksgiving, we give away free meals to our customers as a thank you for their continuous support. I don’t mean to ramble, I just wanted to get their story out because it’s truly incredible. This restaurant has been a staple in the Madison community for 35 years and we’re hoping for another 35 years. However, I’m afraid of my grandpas’ saying of, “There’s always enough to go around,” is slowly fading. 

Thank you Barstool, and thank you Dave for the effort you’ve put in helping small businesses. It’s my favorite thing to see on my timeline these days.

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