It’s all in the family. Little did Charles Shotola, late of Riverside, think when he started his business, Chateau Food Products, in 1949 that here in 2017 that the third generation of the Shotola family would be running the operation.

Following his retirement, Charles Shotola saw the business go into the capable hands of his son, Don, who had been working with his father learning the family business. With thoughts of retirement looming for the second generation, Don was approached by his nephew, Matt Flickinger, to learn about the business. 

Matt is the son of the only Shotola daughter, Denise, and he’s also now in charge of the Chateau dumpling empire after taking the reins as become CEO/president of the company.

Raised in Brookfield and a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, Flickinger is very enthusiastic about being in the business started by his grandfather and continued by his Uncle Don. 

The Chateau brand is well-known in the Chicago area primarily for its bread and potato dumplings and are available not only locally but at many of the larger chain stores. Flickinger said he hopes to extend the product line, possibly bringing back some former favorites (liver dumplings maybe?) 

He also plans to reach out and introduce himself and the new generation of Chateau products to his present customers and increase their availability. He said he wanted to assure customers that there will be no changes to the tried-and-true Bohemian staples and even though the name at the top says “Flickinger,” he is a Shotola through and through.

While I always think of dumplings as going with pork, Matt informed me they make a great French toast; I never thought about that. How about a bread pudding with Chateau dumplings, I suggested? 

The business his grandfather started in Berwyn in 1949 appears to be in good hands and, for Flickinger, it’s exciting to be part of that legacy.