Florida

Communities rally behind family-owned cafes at risk of being closed by a pandemic

Orange Park, Florida. – The community is rallying behind a family-owned company in Orange Park, at risk of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barbara Tharp, co-owner of Wicked Batter Cafe, said the pandemic reduced last year’s sales.

“COVID was really, really hard at the beginning, especially as a new business. It wasn’t part of my business plan,” Tharp explained.

Sap runs a cafe with his son Emory and his sister Kelsey Willoughby. It offers customers both traditional and keto pastries, breads and sandwiches. During the pandemic, it closed the canteen for several months and moved to takeaway only.

“To be honest, I was really worried,” Willoughby said. “I was a little sad.”

As the cafe approached the late winter season, Sap said he began to run out of options to keep the cafe door open.

“We were ready for cash at that point and were actually running out of thread in all the plans and situations that could solve the problem,” said Tharp.

At that time, the cafe was in danger of posting a message on Facebook and sharing its future. Tharp told News4Jax that he had informed employees to start looking for new jobs.

“It wasn’t about losing the work we put into it or the money we put into it at that time, it wasn’t about losing our dreams. It’s a whole different level of sadness,” explained Tharp. “I just wanted everyone to continue working.”

That’s possible, thanks to the support of the community. According to the cafe, sales have increased by about 700% in the last two weeks.

“We have changed from tears of sadness to tears of joy that are just overwhelming,” Willoughby said.

According to the cafe, the recent increase in sales will help it survive the next four to six weeks. We want to raise more money to survive the rest of the slow season, which usually lasts until March. Set up a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $ 25,000.

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax-All rights reserved.

Communities rally behind family-owned cafes at risk of being closed by a pandemic

Source link Communities rally behind family-owned cafes at risk of being closed by a pandemic

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