For Scott Underwood, being a business owner and family man are mutually inclusive. Ever since the original owners sold it to Underwood’s father in 1978, Lincoln Carry Outs has been under his family’s ownership, and the business has since been passed to Underwood and his brother. Underwood began running the Crown Point branch in 2003, while his brother maintains the establishment in Hobart–the only two currently remaining locations.
Lincoln Carry Outs is renowned for its selection of sandwiches, salads, and pies. While he believes their most famous sandwiches are their “Lincoln’s Club” and “Funny Girl,” sandwich enthusiast Underwood has his own tastes.
“My favorite is probably the ‘Steelworker Special,’ which is one of our most popular,” said Underwood. “I also recommend the roast beef sandwich on rye with cheese, lettuce, and tomato. It's really good.”
While Lincoln Carry Outs prides itself on consistently expanding its menu and its innovation, Underwood believes that the business’s longevity has been due to that which has remained the same rather than what has changed.
“We've been around for a long time. Consistency is the key that has kept this around as long as it has,” Underwood said. “We try to keep the same staff members as long as we can and deliver the same quality products no matter the time of day.”
Having worked with many of the same employees for years morphing into decades, Underwood feels that his relationship with his workers have transcended the strictly professional, feeling a deep sense of personal connection with them.
“They're part of my family. I view them as family. We all talk outside of work. They all know us and we all know them. It's really great,” said Underwood.
While the sentiment holds for all of his workers, some of them are doubly family. Both of his children are employed by him as well. The situation boasts its own challenges, blurring the lines for Underwood between being both a father and a boss. This is especially prevalent with his ambitious daughter, Teralyn.
“My daughter does a really good job and has a little bit of my drive. We are both very passionate about what we do. Sometimes we’ll butt heads, but it all comes from a good place,” said Underwood. “I know that she could take over and run this business if something were to happen to me. She's ready.”
Meanwhile his son, Lucas, not only works for Lincoln Carry Outs, but hopes to attain a scholarship to college from his athletic skills in basketball. The honor roll student currently plays for Don Bosco Prep in Crown Point, although his passion for the sport began far earlier.
“He started getting interested back when he was in the second or third grade,” Underwood said. “We used to go to the Crown Point High School basketball games. He started playing and just loved it. He couldn't wait until he could be a player out there.”
Underwood credits his supportive and hard-working wife, Elizabeth, as well as his loyal staff for the functionality of his life-style, being able to be fully present in both his work and personal life.
“Being self-employed definitely helps with flexibility. I've never missed one of Lucas’s games,” Underwood said.
Having persevered through all of the duties which have been designated to him throughout the years, Underwood offers some wisdom to all.
“I am a firm believer in hard work. You have to work through struggles to get to the good stuff,” said Underwood. “So just work hard every day and then eventually it will pay off for everybody.”