January 28th we did our first Plating Change Event! It didn’t go as great as we hoped but it got our feet wet as to what to expect, how to plan, and what to do better for the next one!
A fella named Marcus Lemonis started a movement called #platingchange. Marcus is the owner of Camping World and several other businesses. He’s also well known for his role in “The Profit”, where he invests in struggling restaurants and goes in and helps them redo everything in order to be profitable. From what I can tell he has a passion for small business.
The idea behind #platingchange is to stimulate restaurants and help folks with food insecurities at the same time. It’s a really great movement!
Marcus reached out to his friend John Rich of the Country band “Big and Rich”, and asked if he knew anyone in the restaurant business. And John did.
Our family has been long time friends with Big and Rich. Mostly Uncle Rory from being in the music industry. Big Kenny has been a friend of Uncle Rory’s for as long as I can remember and Uncle Keith built John Richs’s home in downtown Nashville about 10 years ago. So when Marcus asked, John sent him our way.
They did a zoom call and recorded it. I’ve linked it here.
Aunt Candy and Uncle Rory had no real idea what they were getting into when they were asked to do the zoom call. They are the owners of Marcy Jo’s Muletown. One of the 3 restaurants our family owns here in Tennessee. When Marcus asked about the restaurant business I don’t think he knew how invested we really were!
When Covid hit the Mealhouse and Muletown Shut down. But I kept the Bakery open! At the time I felt like I only had two options. 1. Shut down and more than likely not have the money to reopen, or 2. Stay open and follow my Faith and help people in need going out with a smile! Everything was crazy. The grocery stores were running out of food and paper products and everyone was full of fear. My wife sent me a picture of the bread shelves at our local store and it sparked and idea. Maybe we could make bread and sell it to grocery stores to keep them stocked and keep us open. And that’s when God said “ Make bread and give it away!”
So we did.
I’m not gonna lie, at first I was nervous. Not only was I worried about going out of business, but I was worried of going out of business and going deep in debt at the same time. Not to mention the effect Covid may have and the fears everyone else was feeling, I was feeling. This was long before government loans, unemployment assistance and PPP money. I had half a dozen employees at the Bakery alone I was responsible for. Not only losing their job at a time like this, but not having one to come back to and me playing a part in that was a tough pill to swallow.
So I went to Uncle Rory and asked his opinion and to see if he would help. He loved the idea. He loves things like this. People going out on a limb. Pivotal moments that can change everything. The types of moments and decisions in life you don’t see the effect until much later. He said he would help, but only if I went all in with no ulterior motive and put my trust in God to work it out.
So I did.
So We Did!
And here we are a year later and Marcus Lemonis Calls.
We never closed the Bakery and were still giving away bread. (God working it out!) Not long into Covid we partnered with my close friend Kristian Kennedy’s nonprofit “Melody Manor Ranch” and started giving away bread with them. Kristian also works as Director of Operations for the nonprofit “The Bridge of Nashville and Chapel Hill.”
So when Marcus called, this was right up our alley! As if God had prepped us for it….. Of course He did.
Marcus bought 2000 loaves of bread and 2000 meals from us! Amazing Right! He also had us create a QR Code so anyone willing could also buy a loaf of bread or a meal for someone else in need!
We would love it if you would share it!
We did our first giveaway January 28th 2021. We partnered with The Bridge, Of course, and we had a great night.
Check out the video below.
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