Greg sat down with the husband and wife team behind Do Well Sandwich Company in Chicago to chat about finding your footing as a new business and being there for the community.

Mike and Malaika Wells finish each other’s “sandwiches” (literally) in a way that only couples who have been together since third grade can. It only made sense that they’d wind up in business together. Mike started out doing his own thing, making smoothies until that became too expensive. Malaika had spent her professional life in logistics and operations. Although neither of them had ever run a full-time food business, the idea of creating a space in their underserved community, someplace that fed the soul and the body appealed to them.

Catering was a natural start while they searched for a more permanent footprint. But storefronts cost money. Enter Boxville, a market space in Washington Park created out of old shipping containers.

Mike and Malaika shed some light on being a couple in business together. Their experiences call to mind the husband and wife duos of El Burro and the Bull in Houston and Café Tola in Chicago. “I mean, it actually brought us closer together,” Mike says, “and it’s not easy.”


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