JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Louis Joseph, who owns The Mudville Grille on Beach Boulevard, said he wanted to be sure his employees could still get paychecks, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
So he got creative.
“Without my employees, I’m nothing, and so I’ve got to do what I can to make sure they have a job because the economy will come back around, and I will need people like Sammy and the guys in the back and the girls to move forward," Joseph said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Joseph’s business is limited to takeout and delivery service, but outside his restaurant, he set up a produce stand with boxes of fresh vegetables and fruits for sale.
“We wanted to keep a job for Sammy, so I thought of different ways that we could do that and I thought of a produce stand," said Joseph.
Sammy is a dedicated employee and Joseph didn’t want to lose her during this time of uncertainty.
“Every morning I go to the farmers market, get the produce, bring it out here and put a few dollars on it and keep a job for Sammy,” said Joseph.
And each morning, Sammy manages the stand and sells produce to customers as they also continue supporting the restaurant.
“They’re tipping generously. They’re coming every chance they get. They’re spreading the wealth. They’re going to other small businesses and making sure that everybody’s got their business, which is great because it’s hurting right now," Joseph said about his customers.
Joseph told News4Jax he will keep the produce stand up and running as long as he can and needs to.