Friday, July 30, 2021

Bakery raising money for restaurant in the community

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Keeping a restaurant open in normal circumstances is hard enough, and adding a pandemic to the mix only makes it tougher.

After a long fight, the owners of Gourmet Fast are trying everything to stay open.

“We’ve been struggling for a while, and we just said, ‘OK, it’s time to ask for help,’ ” said Anthony Wilkins, owner of Gourmet Fast.

After seeing how the owners at Rock City stepped in for other restaurants, Wilkins approached the co-owner — looking for answers and suggestions.

The co-owner of Rock City Cake Company decided to start a fundraiser on Facebook to help. In four days, they have raised a little more than $8,000.

“I think honestly out of everything we’d done, I knew immediately that I had to help Anthony,” said Morgan Morrison, co-owner of Rock City Cake Company.

Wilkins said the money will go to the restaurant’s problem areas, like payroll and inventory.

For Wilkins, cooking is a long-time passion he has had for more than a decade. Before opening his restaurant on Ruffner Avenue, he was recovering from a failed restaurant startup in Dunbar. After that, he along with his staff members were selling fish sandwiches on the street. That money went into opening up their current location.

Morrison says she knows exactly what it’s like to be in that position.

“We started a little hole in the wall. We didn’t even have a lobby in our first place. It went under, we failed. We literally went out of business,” Morrison said.

Wilkins says the fundraiser gives them a second chance, and without it, Gourmet Fast would have closed in two months.

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