The local pizza joint, Island Crust Cafe, was recognized Thursday afternoon as the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year.
Owners Rich and Kim Benjamin were given the honor, highlighting not on a great local business, but one which strives to give back to the community.
Island Crust, located in the Island Corporate Center at 7525 S.E. 24th Street, Suite 100 is a kosher vegetarian restaurant which offers everything from pizza to salad and more. The restaurant prides itself on the fact that all it's items are homemade, using the best ingredients.
At the Chamber lunch when the award was announced Thursday, Jan. 10 Rich said they were extremely surprised.
The Cafe will be catering the annual Giving From the Heart Breakfast in February, which fundraises for the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services. The breakfast will serve 500 attendees and the restaurant has donated $5,000 to the cost of providing the breakfast. At the 2012 breakfast, the Benjamin's provided free pizza parties to a classroom at each Mercer Island elementary school, including St. Monica, as a prize for a YFS sponsored art project. The restaurant also gave 20 percent of their revenue during "Giving from the Heart Day" to YFS.
The restaurant is also well known for hosting local community events and helping when and where it can, including free meals to veterans on Veteran's Day, special events to raise money for Israeli orphans, poker nights will proceeds going to the winners philanthropy of choice and helps with local school fundraisers.
"Island Crust Cafe is an outstanding example of the businesses here on Mercer Island. They are building a better Island community by being here," said the nomination form.
Island Crust Cafe, which has been operating for 2.5 years, is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.