About This Episode

Brandon Chrostowski discovered his career path in restaurants after an arrest nearly landed him in prison. Years later, he founded EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute to provide training in culinary arts and hospitality for formerly incarcerated adults in Cleveland, OH. “’Broken,’ ‘discounted,’ ‘damaged,’ ‘a threat’ - this is what the majority of people think about someone who's returning home from prison,” says Chrostowski. EDWINS helps change that perception. “It's not the scarlet letter, it is in fact a golden ticket to new places.” T he institute also provides assistance with finding employment, free housing, basic medical care, clothing, job coaching, and literacy programs. Join us to hear about how people are overcoming their worst moments to find success and stability.  

Resources and Mentions:

Brandon Chrostowski

Brandon Edwin Chrostowski


Brandon Edwin Chrostowski is on a mission to change the face of re-entry in the United States. In 2007, he founded EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute. His belief that “every human being regardless of their past has the right to a fair and equal future” is what has driven the creation of EDWINS. The idea for EDWINS was born “from a break” that Chrostowski received early in life and has grown into a six-month program conducted at EDWINS restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio as well as in prison. His approach is simple: arm those re-entering society with a skill set and a smile. The program provides training in Culinary Arts and the Hospitality Industry. Individuals are not only equipped with basic culinary skills, but also are assisted with finding employment, have the opportunity to utilize free housing, basic medical care, clothing, job coaching, and literacy programs.


EDWINS is a 501(c)(3) organization that offers formerly incarcerated adults a foundation in the culinary and hospitality industries, and a support network necessary for long-term success. Located in Cleveland, Ohio and founded by Brandon Chrostowski in 2007, the driving principle behind the organization is that every human being, regardless of their past, has a right to a fair and equal future.