It was a normal day for Eric Rico Nance who was having his usual conversation with God, but when he began praying on this particular night, the word “Litehouse” weighed heavily on his heart. He had no idea what this meant, but overtime the vision became crystal clear.
“A lighthouse helps guide people to safety, it is a light in the midst of darkness, it gives hope to all those who see it and come in contact with it,” said Nance. “Likewise, I wanted to create a warm inviting experience for the people in our communities to come together and indulge in fresh healthy food options; no hormones, no antibiotics, and no added preservatives in a family-friendly environment.”
As an ex-football player who turned full-time minister and a degree in cinematic arts, he had absolutely no experience in the food industry. Yet he knew that this was the time for him to minister God’s people and provide for his wife and three kids who all had different food restrictions. Nance stayed strong in his faith, kept “Litehouse” close to his heart, and continued on the path he was meant to follow.
And in 2012, Litehouse Whole Food Grill opened its doors to serve healthy, unprocessed and whole foods while welcoming everyday people to come in and feel like they are right at home.
“From day one, we decided to be a reflection of God’s love in our community. We’ve displayed this by firstly, honoring God’s way of doing things. In an industry where it is absolutely unheard of, we decided to remember God’s Sabbath day and do our best to keep it holy.”
With the Light of Christ and Lite Foods all under one roof, Litehouse Whole Food Grill’s popularity spread rapidly throughout the community and became light in the midst of darkness.
“We’ve introduced our Pay It Forward Program. We created a program that would allow customers to pre-purchase a meal and place it on the wall at the register for someone in need to obtain. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen a tough time or two. We encourage our customers in a tight financial time to come on in and inquire about this program. This is a way to put ‘The Lite’ into each customers hand. To truly begin to Spread Love in the most genuine way.”
From football player, to minister, to owner of Litehouse Whole Food Grill, Nance will always continue his conversations with God and hopes that in the next five years the restaurant will begin growing their own food and being a “Lite” in communities all over the world.
Litehouse Whole Food Grill is located in Hyde Park at 1660 E. 55th St. They are set to open up their South Loop location at 2026 S. Clark in the upcoming weeks.