The pandemic has played havoc with small and family businesses across the world, yet even as those businesses struggle with their new economic reality, many of them still find ways to help others in their communities.
A furniture store in Austin, Texas, halted furniture production to make masks and gowns for first responders and people with compromised immune systems. Restaurants in Sacramento, Calif., teamed up to feed hundreds of seniors and low-income families.
In Charleston, SC, Apple Spice Box Lunch Catering launched a program called “Box of Thanks” where companies, organizations and individuals could support hospital workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders by providing them with box lunches and words of gratitude.
“It’s a way for us to give back, and to help others in the community to give back during a time when those first responders are doing so much for all of us,” says Stephen Graves, owner and president of the Apple Spice franchise in Charleston.
Since the program began, Apple Spice has delivered hundreds of lunches to fire departments, police departments and hospitals, along with messages such as “Please enjoy this lunch as a small gesture for your bravery, dedication and service” and “Thank you for the sacrifice you are making to protect others.”
Coca-Cola pitched in by donating 750 drinks to give away with the lunches.
“It’s been great to see how the community has stepped up and how so many people recognize the important role these first responders are playing in the pandemic,” Graves says.
Anyone who wants to participate in the “Box of Thanks” program can visit the Apple Spice website at www.applespice.com or call (843) 564-1597. They can also email owner Stephen Graves at [email protected] or general manager Gunnar Cash at [email protected].
Graves and his son Travis opened the Apple Spice franchise location in Charleston in 2017 with the goal of building a family business together. Like so many other businesses these days, their franchise has experienced its share of difficulties during the pandemic, but Graves is determined to persevere through the hard times.
“We are family-owned and committed to staying open to support those who need us to bring great food to them – especially our first responders,” Graves says. “This is just a small gesture of thanks to let these professionals know how much we appreciate their extraordinary efforts during this time.”
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