Some of the most inspiring and charitable stories I’ve seen over the last few months come from restaurants. Though fewer industries have taken a bigger hit during the global wide quarantine than the restaurant industry, I have seen story after story of restaurant owners delivering trays of food to first responders.
Then there are other stories of restaurants, like the Columbia Restaurant and Gunshow, fixing numerous meals to help their employees. Barbecue joints have flipped their business upside down to continue to serve you, even if you live across the country.
The stories have been incredible. While the quarantine is beginning to lift, it hasn’t been with as much hope as was originally anticipated. The opportunity to open has revealed the problems some restaurants are facing: how does one staff a restaurant after weeks without an income?
As we enter into summer, we have the perfect opportunity to help even if we can’t walk through the restaurant doors. Feast Day has started carrying products from Catholic-owned restaurants and bakeries like the Columbia Restaurant and La Biscotti. We even have steak seasoning and pork brine sold at the restaurants of Kevin Gillespie from Top Chef.
So, I’m not going to tell you about the unprecedented times. All of us could regurgitate the same descriptions of 2020 we’ve heard from politians, journalists, and celebrities. Too much time looking at the problem keeps us from contributing to a solution. Fortunately, Christians can be counted on to be hopeful, optimistic, and ready to face an obstacle.
What has been most interesting about carrying and using these products ourselves isn’t just that we feel good about being more purposeful shoppers and supporting bakers like Augustine, owner of La Biscotti, but his biscotti has helped breakup the monotony of quarantine. His lemon biscotti has served as a reminder to continue to celebrate the entire Easter season. Snack time has become family time. With Gillespie’s seasonings and dressing from the Columbia Restaurant many dinners have undergone changes too. With small kids, we haven’t enjoyed the leisure others have talked about, but we have embraced the leisurely dinner.
Unfortunately, finding Catholic-owned restaurants that have pre-packaged items can be difficult to find. “Catholic-owned” isn’t usually printed on the menu. In an effort to do more, Feast Day has set out on an entirely new venture to aid more restaurants. And one kind of restaurant always bottles and sells their products…barbecue joints. Over the last month, Feast Day has recently opened St. Lawrence Barbecue Co. to sell more products from more restaurants. So when you get your dad something for the barbecue this Father’s Day, rather than an apron, you might get him something he really wants and that will help struggling restaurants like barbecue sauce from legendary barbecue restaurants.
Take a look at Feast Day and St. Lawrence Barbecue Co. You might find something to transform your summer cookout or lead to more family time. But don’t stop there. Look in your own neighborhood. Is there a Mexican restaurant with a salsa you’ve always loved? The opportunity for us to help others and add more flavor to our own lives through more thoughtful shopping is more dramatic and charitable than ever before.