FAQs

Where can I buy your products locally?

I have a map on the "Brick and Mortar" page here where you can find stores carrying my products. Not all products are carried at all locations.

Can I carry your products? Do you distribute?

If you're looking to sell Chicago Johnny's products, Fortune Fish & Gourmet distributes around the Midwest and are spreading their reach. Fortune 

KeHE and MimiFoodsUSA also distribute some of our line. 

Do you cater?

I no longer cater, I've been focusing my efforts on wholesaling and retailing my condiment and spice lines.

Your name is Josh, what's with "Johnny"?

My middle name is John, and I wrote a fake newspaper story as a kid about a restaurant that I owned called Chicago Johnny's. The name just made sense as I started making and selling my own giardiniera out of my parent's house.

Do I have to refrigerate my giardiniera?

In short, no, my giardiniera is shelf stable. However, the longer the vegetables are exposed to the air (if you use more oil than vegetables and the oil level gets below the vegetable line) the faster they spoil. Since these vegetables are fermented, they won't rot like fresh produce, so I'm talking a matter of months here. So if you're not going through your giardiniera on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to just refrigerate.

Are your items gluten free? Soy free? Nut free?

I don't use any gluten based ingredients, soy, or nuts in my products, but as for co-packing, some products may be run in facilities where gluten, soy, and nuts may also be packed. 

Are your products Kosher?

I don't pay the fees for Kosher on my product line so they are not certified Kosher.

Your giardiniera is so good I eat it out of the jar!

Though not a question, I get this a lot more than anyone probably thinks. And though I appreciate so much that people love my products this much, since giardiniera is oil based it might give you some bathroom issues if you are just eating it straight (which some people eat it straight out of the jar for this exact reason). In short, do what makes you happy.

What part of Chicago are you from?

I'm not from Chicago, I'm a fraud. I grew up in Buffalo Grove and later McHenry, but frequented Cicero, Berwyn, and Chicago where my great aunts, uncles, and dozens of cousins lived while growing up. I have always loved Chicago, Chicago food, and Chicago culture, so when developing a name for my company Chicago Johnny's just hit. I mean, it's a great friggin' name. Seriously, as Kevin Pang said to me on Windy City Live, "I'm not one for hyperbole...but you look Chicago". 

Who has the best Italian beef/pizza/Gyros/Sausage....?

I'm not a fan of 'ranking' things, especially not businesses that are the livelihood of the owners and workers. I am a big fan of trying out your local haunts, finding what you love and patronizing them. Also, if you don't have a good experience or have some legit complaints or concerns about a local place, speak up TO THEM so they can at least have a chance to be addressed. I really dislike going online and posting negative reviews, rankings, or comments about restaurants (especially your local joints). Essentially, if a restaurant is not serving the people properly, they'll end up going under on their own; you don't have to go online and 'bash' them, especially if you didn't speak to them first. Enough of that rant, but ultimately "The Best" is a falsehood to me. 

Will you review my restaurant or my favorite restaurant?

No, I don't take suggestions for restaurants. There is no influence involved in my selection of restaurants I Spotlight. The whole point of my "Spotlighting" is to bring awareness to restaurants that are doing a great job. If I'm posting or making a video of a place, then they are worth visiting. I've been to a number of restaurants, filmed or photographed, and spent good money on food for the purpose of Spotlighting them, and if they're good I tell you. If they're not, I choose not to post about it because as stated above, it is not my intention to hurt anyone's business. 

Do you sell from your own storefront?

No, we have decided to close our storefront now that we are in all Jewel Osco locations and other stores in Chicagoland. It was too much of a time constraint, and in the long run I'd rather you patronize one of the stores carrying my line instead of direct from me. It's better for me in the long term.