A St. Louis-area produce distributor is helping out the employees of its clients who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ole Tyme Produce, which has been distributing food around St. Louis for almost 50 years, has donated dozens of boxes of fresh produce to the employees of some of the restaurants it distributes to regularly. Boxes have been delivered to BC's Kitchen, Canyon Cafe, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., Sidney Street Cafe, Winslow's Table, Half & Half in Clayton, SymBowl in Kirkwood, Pieces and Protagonist Cafe. According to Scott McPherson, head of marketing and digital design for Ole Tyme, the boxes included items such as cauliflower, lettuce, blood oranges, berries and more. The produce is intended to help those who have been laid off, furloughed or had their hours cut at the restaurants.
"We know the chefs in the kitchens and the people that we see when we're delivering, and we know that many of them are not working and certainly not working the hours that they were used to working," McPherson says. "For us, it's a way to show that we care and to maintain those relationships."
Ole Tyme is also working to help those that may not necessarily work in the restaurant industry during this time. The company has partnered with longtime St. Louis chef Bill Cardwell, who is cooking meals for those in need with St. Louis Foodworks. Cardwell is preparing the meals, but Ole Tyme has donated ingredients like carrots, garlic, herbs, spices and dairy for him to use while cooking. Ole Tyme
The distributor has also donated 27,000 pounds of dairy, veggies, lettuce and more to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
"It's been really cool to see everybody in the community starting to do this, to turn and look at how we can help other people," Mcpherson says. "For us, it's just cool to be able to be a part of that."
While donating produce and products around St. Louis, Ole Tyme is also making sure to support some of its local producers as well, such as Baetje Farms, Knead Bakehouse, Buzy Beez Honey and Cahokia Rice, among others. To help support its producers, Ole Tyme has also set up a new direct-to-consumer website that customers can buy from and pick up at locations around the St. Louis area.
Ole Tyme Produce, oletyme.com