Sandy's National Headquarters, Kewanee, Illinois

Sandy's National Headquarters, Kewanee, Illinois

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With the limit resources on the internet regarding Sandy's, one of the top priorities was to find an existing Sandy's building that has not been torn down or changed to make room for the Hardees buildings in 1974. Incredibly, one known original Sandy's building does exist and it is the best of them all... the national headquarters. The national headquarter was built in 1968 in Kewanee, Illinois, home of the founders of Sandy's, along with a Sandys restaurant which was one of two for the city. The restaurant was in midtown and no longer exists in its original form while the headquarters remains approximately two miles south of town. Sandy's was noted for architectural design awards and in a classic move, they put their talents to good use by designing the building in the image of the restaurants themselves.

Click here to view a painting of Sandy's headquarters from 1968!

Amazingly, to this day, the vintage late 1960's tile designs remain, looking like something Mike Brady would come up with. The fins jutting from the roof show that there is no question as to which corporate headquarters you are viewing. How unbelieveable that the building most likely to not exist is perhaps the only building to exist... virtually unchanged for now over 35 years!

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Here is the classic front fin which reminences of classic 1960's design. Check buildings such as gas stations in the same time period (see Sinclair stations in particular) as well as car design for similar detail.

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Hardees used this building as their midwest divisional headquarters until 1978!

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This was the building where all major planning went into challenging the top corporations in the fast food world as well as setting the standards for feeding the hungry mobile public.

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Here is a close-up of the vintage 1960's tile design. This building is ready to go, ready to start up one of the greatest restaurants of all without missing a beat!

Mr. Jim Kelley, the accountant for Sandy's has provided pictures of the people on the inside of the beautiful headquarters building who played a roll in the daily operations of the corporation as a whole.

Jim explains; I believe that all of these pictures were taken for a slide presentation at the convention held in Peoria in 1968. They were used to explain to conventioners the activities of the accounting department in keeping records for their stores and how the work flowed thru the franchise office. I hope that this tells a little bit about one small part of what Sandy's was like at the franchise office. thanks, Jim.

These slide pictures were hidden in storage and have not been seen for over three and one-half decades! If you worked in the national headquarters, perhaps you know some of these Sandy's employees. If you do, please email me with any details and stories of what it was like to work at the Sandy's national home office that you would like to share!

UPDATE 9/29/05... Kathy Bryner Anderson worked at Sandy's headquarters at the peak of Sandy's explosion across the United States! She remembers what it was like working at the headquarters in Kewanee Illinois.

Hi,

My name is Kathy Bryner Anderson (in the picture under the printed org. chart). I worked at the Sandy’s Franchise home office in Kewanee. I started with Sandy’s in 1966 as a sophomore in high school on the office occupations program. At that time, the office was on the second floor of a building in Kewanee that was called the Coke Building. That building is still standing and houses a beauty shop and several offices.

The entire staff was really excited when we moved into the new building. It was really “cool”! We had so much space (at the time).

In the summer of 1967 we had to work on a Saturday – year end stuff – and experienced a trembling in the building. It was the only earthquake I’ve ever experienced in Illinois in my whole life. Really shook us up, I’ll tell you!

I remember all of the ladies in the photos. Neva Jones (lady on the left in the 1st picture) was a great lady and passed away some years ago. Helen Conner (with Mr. Kelly in the 5th picture) ran a really tight ship. Naomi Brignadello (lady on the right in the 1st picture) is still in Kewanee as are Michelle Emery and myself. I’m not sure about Marge Phillips (4th picture – blue dress), though she may be somewhere local. I believe that she lived in Toulon. The lady in the red dress with the dark hair, I believe is Becky Preston.

Sandy’s sponsored me in the Miss Henry County Pageant in 1967. (I got to wear a sash with their name on it but had to pay the entry fee myself as Mr. Kelly didn’t feel that they should pay). It was a good thing for me as I’m really a shy person especially in front of a lot of people that I don’t know.

I left Sandy’s late in 1969 when I got married so missed out on all the merger stuff but I enjoyed my time with them. I remember, Jack Laughery, Martin O’Connor, Brick Lundburg, Mr. White and all the Andris brothers!

The following picture was taken at the Sandys convention in Peoria.....it shows Brick Lundberg (partial view, Michele Emery (accounting dept) and Bob Armstrong--the architect designer of all the Sandys stores and the Home Office in Kewanee! Mr. Lundberg was the heart of the company and visited every Sandy's location. Mr. Armstrong designed every location. Both, sadly, are no longer with us but their legacy continues to this day.

Sandy's was more than generous in supporting the communities that they were in. Here is a picture found online at kewaneehogdays.com by Twig Gravely which is of the Sandy's float which appeared in the Kewanee, Illinois 1968 Hog Days parade. This was one of the last parades held on a Monday as a Labor Day event for organized labor. In 1970, the parade moved to Saturdays and became known as a Hog Festival event.

06/12/2008 ... UPDATE!

Hello, My name is Rev. Rene’ Barth, I am the current pastor of the church at the Old Sandy’s Headquarters. I wanted to give you some corrections on the information that you have. First, The church is Open Arms Community Church which is a FREE Methodist Ministry not United Methodist. We have recently changed the colors the building to be more suitable to the mosaics. The mosaics seem to pop more with the teal background color we chose. Unfortunately we had to remove one of the smaller mosaics on the north front side of the building because it was losing so many tiles. . We placed a light cross in its place. We framed out the mosaics in a attempt to save the others. It has worked very well. And we also had to cut most of the shrubs out. They were getting in the way of the view of the building. Attached see a newer picture of the building.