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Paint the Wall Black: The Story of Nini’s Deli with Bonus Features

To Contact Juan Riesco: [email protected]    

To Contact Pastor Joe Wyrostek: [email protected]

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Juan Riesco grew Nini’s Deli from its humble origins to #1 in Chicago on Yelp before the Black Lives Matter movement cancelled it in early June 2020. His parents, immigrants from Cuba and Mexico, started the small business. Juan took the reigns during a transitional period in his life, in which he converted to Christianity, after living as a homosexual in San Francisco.  

After the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement promoted posting a black square on social media to show solidarity with the cause. When Juan failed to take this step, hundreds of people went online to accuse him of racism. Juan gently responded to each individual by explaining that he was a Christian and could not endorse the anti-Christian beliefs of the Black Lives Matter organization, but that he did believe black people, as well as all people, mattered to God. The next day hundreds of protestors showed up to protest Nini’s Deli. Juan preached the gospel to them. The next day thousands of people showed up. Juan received thousands of death threats and had to flee the city in the middle of the night to escape. Juan lost his corporate contracts and Nini’s Deli closed.   

Even as he lost his business and experienced betrayal by friends,  Juan’s faith in Christ and resolve grew. Juan considers the story of Nini’s to be a victory story as many have come to Christ and been inspired by his courage.

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1 thought on “Paint the Wall Black: The Story of Nini’s Deli with Bonus Features”

  1. Dear Jon,

    I’m leaving this as a comment because I’m having a hard time finding a contact for you.

    I’m Jamin Coller, a pastor’s kid and seminary graduate with a deep-rooted history in Evangelical ministry. My journey, including 20 years as an advisory worship pastor and a nationwide children’s speaker, has led me to critical reflections on Evangelical Christianity, which I’ve explored in my upcoming book “Dear Evangelicals”, set to publish in January 2024.

    My experience aligns closely with the themes of ‘Conversations That Matter’. As someone who’s been disowned by my family and church of origin since April 2020, I offer a unique perspective on the problematic beliefs within Christianity – the very questions that led to my departure from a church I once called home.

    I believe my insights on these controversial topics could resonate with your audience. In “Dear Evangelicals”, I delve into the challenging questions that often go unaddressed in Evangelical circles. I’d love to explore these themes of faith and doubt within Evangelicalism on your podcast.

    For a closer look at my work, I invite you to visit my website,, where you can access the introduction and outline of my book. I’m also happy to provide a free advance copy for your review or as a giveaway for your audience.

    I look forward to the possibility of joining you on ‘Conversations That Matter’ and contributing to a meaningful conversation.

    May you be well,
    Jamin Coller
    [email protected]

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