by SUSAN M. BRACKNEY
As partners in love, parenting, and business, Ed and Jaimie Schwartzman share almost everything—including their sense of gratitude. “We always say, ‘God bless our broken road,’ because our road has twists and turns in it, and we couldn’t be happier,” Jaimie says.
The pair has co-owned BuffaLouie’s at the Gables restaurant, 114 S. Indiana Ave., since 2011, but before their paths crossed, Jaimie—a Minnesota native with a teaching degree—moved to Bloomington to be with a boyfriend.
While seeking a teaching position, she worked nights at BuffaLouie’s. And, although her relationship ended, her BuffLouie’s stint continued. “I landed the opportunity to become a partner,” she says.
Ed, a transplanted New Yorker, moved to Bloomington to be close to his daughter from a previous marriage, who was attending IU. He began assisting with marketing at BuffaLouie’s, where he met Jaimie. “We got married, bought out the business, and had kids, all within two years,” Jaimie recalls.
They have two school-aged children, and jointly coach their daughter’s softball team. They’ve also long supported the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington. “To whom much is given, much is expected—that’s the philosophy we live by,” Jaimie says.
That notion was top-of-mind when COVID-19 hit. Ed says, “They shut the school, and my wife says, ‘There are kids who qualify for free lunch who aren’t going to have a meal. We’ve got to feed them.’”
“Knowing we had food in our restaurant and knowing how uncertain it was for everybody at that time, I just felt like it might not be a lot, but it’s something we can do,” Jaimie adds.
They connected with families in need via Facebook, and the project soon snowballed. Besides BuffaLouie’s items, they began providing bags of groceries thanks to others’ donations and support. “We had IU coaches walking in the door handing us checks,” Jaimie notes. “We had friends say, ‘Let me help you deliver.’”
“We live in the greatest community,” she adds. “We love the people that surround us, and so much has been given to us that we’re always looking to give back.”