Locally Owned Businesses Experience Dynamic Community Support

Chelsea and I were talking recently about how our Bryan-College Station locally owned businesses have come together to support other locally owned businesses. It has been, and remains, a time of special consideration, of incredible courtesy, and particular creativity—a positive response to a life-threatening pandemic. We see the hearts of the people of Bryan-College Station shining through.

Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” We appreciate the clarity of our elected officials in communicating information to keep us safe. Their actions give us peace of mind.

We’ve adapted our services to keep families safe while we battle COVID-19; we now broadcast via Facebook Live and visitations with Zoom streaming. Viewing together, in real time, facilitated by our Certified Life Celebrant and your church clergy unites us, while keeping seniors and children safe.

Our favorite restaurants have stepped up to provide office delivery, curbside pickup, and they are offering family-sized meals that can feed an office or a family for a day or two. Our team has enjoyed when I order locally from Burger Mojo, Amico Nave, and C&J’s BBQ, as we support each other in these days, and always.

We were so touched by John Bradley Gause, third-generation owner of JBG Plumbing, who provided our entire team a lunch from Chef Tai’s Urban Table, among 700 lunches they provided locally owned businesses. They wanted to thank local businesses by supporting local restaurants.

We are proud of area groups joining together to provide meals for frontline workers and first responders who work tirelessly caring for all of us—so heartwarming. Take the examples of Nikki and Tom Schuberth—this Friday, Apr. 24th, from 12–2pm, they’re giving away 300 large pizzas to people who’ve recently lost their jobs. Double Dave’s and KBTX are helping get the word out. Nikki is best known for her Nikki Pederson Talent Network of launching the New York and Hollywood careers of children, and Tom, a respected professional and collegiate basketball coach and administrator, are frequent community supporters and this is another of their philanthropic activities. This Friday, just drive past Nikki’s Talent Studio on S. Parker and they’ll bring the pizza to the car.

Another heartwarming act of kindness, we saw on TV last night, the “Climate Doctor,” Ed Wren, of Climate Doctors of BCS offers to shop for supplies/groceries for the homebound or those who don’t have a car to get out. You call them with your list, they shop, and they bring your items to the front door. You can use their card reader to safely pay them for your items. No fee, no upcharge, just a friend to help.

Although the Village Café downtown was hit hard by the closings, owner Kristy Petty and her team have begun active takeout and delivery via Grubhub, much to the delight of their faithful customers. On April 3rd, four restaurants—The Village and Art979 Gallery, C&J’s BBQ, 3rd on Main, and Taco Crave supported the City of Bryan’s effort to serve 500 meals to anyone in need. People drove up to the Brazos Center and were allotted two meals per car. These generous acts mean as much in thought as they do in dollars. Simply for people to know they’re not alone and are being remembered as many still wait for stimulus checks to appear in mailboxes means the world.

Speaking of Stimulus checks, last week Chelsea and I were visiting with an employee of a local business we use regularly. And he mentioned his check was one of the first to arrive and so we asked how far it might stretch in his budget. He said, “I don’t need it, I’m fine personally because I can work every day, so I’m dividing mine up and helping the seniors in my family who need it more.” That was one of the most powerful acts of kindness that we have been hearing lately. Stories just like this, of neighbors helping neighbors and family being there for each other, despite the trying times, are so heartening.

The heartwarming story about David Fox, local owner of Blue Baker, keeping his three locations open (even at a loss) just to keep their close to 100 employees working, made it into the Wall Street Journal last month. They got creative, too, early on in offering baking flour, vegetables, and even commercial rolls of toilet paper for sale at very reasonable prices at all their locations. People were delighted to drive up and get their sandwiches, desserts and pizzas and a large roll of highly sought-after toilet paper for only $2.00.

When I was getting a stereo installed in my truck last year, I met the folks at Mobile Toys, and recently I mentioned to them we were getting low on face shields for our team members and Mobile Toys stepped up and provided them for our team. Similarly, my friend at RV Station gave us hand sanitizer at the beginning when it was so hard to find.

Then, one of our longtime community friends reached out to one of our team members to tell her about ProSTAR Industries and their opening up to individual community members rather than just businesses who buy in bulk. This came at a greatly needed time because you couldn’t find a can of Lysol on a store shelf for anything! When our team member drove over for the supplies, just one hour after speaking with their representative, they also gifted us with a few items we didn’t know they had to see us through our full commitment to restricting attendance. We are their newest most satisfied commercial customer.

Our team has been busy of course, working very long shifts over the phones and some in person (with the greatest safety precautions of course), and it’s been my pleasure to buy lunch for our team and support the local restaurants who have been keeping their staff employed making sure everyone could eat. Grubhub and Doordash have been busy delivering meals to those across town.

We can personally recommend virtually everything on the menu at local restaurants: Burger Mojo, C&J BBQ is mouthwatering. Amico Nave and Shipwreck Grill (Admiral Catering) feed (work) families well. Buppy’s is always a popular choice locally. Hidden gem from Downtown Bryan, Kolache Capitol, has some of the best sandwiches (and kolaches) you can find. Papa Perez does an active take-out business and is a favorite among team members, plus the Village has meals of the week to offer wonderful options when you want to try something new. It’s your choice every day for lunch and every evening for dinner, and everyone is setting the most reasonable prices to offset the budget strains families are experiencing.

Moreover, a TV commercial for Raising Cane’s chicken fingers (a franchise with two BCS locations) encouraged those watching to support locally owned businesses here. Recall, many local franchisees of national drive-through restaurants here are locally owned. And it’s well known that Raising Cane’s is a partner of Texas A&M Athletics; traditionally the franchise donates 25% of its profit back to the community.

Chelsea and I truly appreciate your choosing us for your loved ones’ services. We are proud to be the only locally owned crematory among other of the things that distinguish us as a local business. We purposefully support local businesses, including florists, dry cleaners, and car washes because they patronize us in return.

We are all in this together, and if we remember to #ShopLocal and #Support Local, we can emerge from this even stronger. Thanks to each of you who keep our community going by your commitment to all of us. May we continue to recover in faith, look ahead with hope, and return to normal with a new awareness and appreciation for our local vendors.

~~ Cody and Chelsea Jones


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