Brewery Supports Community by Changing Business in Response to COVID-19
One brewery saw an opportunity to utilize the space that had been closed due to COVID-19 in order to support those in need, opening a free food bank with the help of community donations.
In these challenging times, our cooperative principle of Concern for Community has greater meaning than ever before. Across our cooperative family, amazing work is being done by businesses, organizations, and individuals to support our communities in this time of need. As part of this series, we highlight those outstanding people who have gone above and beyond.
Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) serves portions of eight counties located within a 5,000 square mile territory in Colorado. Across this service territory, many members of MVEA have been affected by COVID-19 in some way, shape or form. In the town of Falcon, Colo., we highlight how this community has shown its strength during a time of need.
One member of the MVEA wanted to ensure they could maximize their business space that was shut down due to COVID-19. Tony Lee, co-owner of JAKs Brewing Company, knew there were people in the community struggling and needing food. JAKs opened a free food pantry so the community of Falcon could come together to help those in need.
To learn how this business pivoted to help their community, watch the video below.
Tony Lee, Co-Owner of JAKs Brewing Company, Opens Free Food Pantry for Community
"The point is to stay strong, stay aggressive, keep pushing forward, don't let anything stop you. And that's what JAKs wants to stand for."
Tony: So I personally moved out here in 2012, into this small community that was growing. I always knew that Falcon was strong, but Falcon is the strongest when people are in need. When we decided to build JAKs, we really wanted to make sure that this company gave back. I wanted to plant a seed that I may never see shade from.
When we got the news that COVID-19 was shutting down our business and many businesses, it hit everybody here in some way, shape or form pretty hard. We know there's people out there that are struggling right now, that need food. We wanted to ensure that we maximize the space that we shut down.
So we came up with the food pantry. The outpouring of donations for this pantry from this community and abroad as been immense. And I kid you not, within 36 to 48 hours the pantry was full.
Patrick Friend: Well, I've seen our community out here in Falcon just coming together so strong in this. As you see behind me, we have tons of food that people have donated.
Tony: A lot of people came in. Probably seen anywhere from 10 to 15 a day. For some folks it is an embarrassing feat to come in here and ask for help. Nine times out of 10, as soon as they leave we either get a message or a phone call thankful for having the food that they needed.
Patrick: It's an amazing experience and I just love being a part of it.
Tony: We know that there are people that haven't lost their job, that are essential. So what we've done for them is we've ensured that they also have something to put their mind at east at the end of the day. And that is, what we do best: Give them a beer.
The point is stay strong, stay aggressive, keep pushing forward, don't let anything stop you. And that's what JAKs wants to stand for. And so, we'll keep going as long as the need is still there.
COVID-19 Community Response
As a family of electric cooperatives and public power districts, our distribution members reach consumers at the end of the line, many of whom have been directly impacted by COVID-19. To learn about our response, how our members are responding and the amazing work being done in communities across the West, watch our videos and read the articles here.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 46 members, including 43 member utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states, that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State and our Responsible Energy Plan, visit www.tristate.coop.