Good morning jam fans. I got some rough tough news from my landlord, who has been super flexible, but at this point, it’s do or die for Butter & Jam. If you don’t know just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, we had the opportunity to expand. We wanted to use the space to host private parties, crepe classes, open mics and have extra seating so the Jam could thrive and its full potential. Given the Jam’s success, I decided it was worth the risk and invested everything I could scrape up, we put it all on the line. We had multiple parties already booked, the décor was all set, and then we got hit blindsided by COVID-19. The pandemic literally put a standstill on business. The Jam was never intended to be a takeout restaurant. I created the Jam as a destination where everyone was welcome and appreciated. I wanted customers to know how grateful we were for sharing some time with us, and choosing us out of the million other places to choose from. It was always about the experience, the service and the atmosphere. With the love that everyone has shown us, I never second-guessed putting everything I had on the line because I believed in the Jam. Given the opportunity, I would do it all again, even knowing what the outcome. I have met and become friends with some of the most amazing, generous, caring and loving people. I never would have imagined and that I’d also find a woman to share the rest of my life with, she has emotionally supported me through the hardest time of my life and I will be forever grateful. I would rather live knowing that I did everything in my power to keep the Jam alive than look back and wonder if I could have asked for help, no matter how embarrassing it is. I have done everything that I can, and have exhausted every avenue and as humbling as it is to ask for your help, I do so. I understand that this is a hard time for everyone. I want you to know how truly appreciated any contribution towards keeping the Jam alive would be. I will forever be grateful to all our Jam fans, even if the only contribution we receive is moral support. Small business is tough but COVID-19 has absolutely demolished too many of us. I cannot blame the pandemic alone, I’m sure I could have made more effort or different choices. However, with my better half expecting I took so many precautionary steps, trying to stay busy while also keeping all contact as little as possible to ensure not only their safety, but everybody’s. I would not be able to live with myself if I was responsible for making someone ill, so I have spent most of my time either at work or home. I can tell you I really, really miss people. I miss the high-fives and hugs and if I miss it this bad, I can’t even fathom what it’s going to be like if we close, losing every penny we have. I’m OK with trying and failing; I know I’ll make more again sometime. My sadness comes from not being able to see the smiles from little children to senior citizens, hearing “oh my goodness, my child never eats anytime we go out to eat except when we come here” is the biggest compliment. My most favorite thing, and what I’m most proud of, is that before the Jam opened, I had never cooked a day in my life. With the confidence that my Yaya instilled in me, I knew that I could do anything I put my mind to. We make some of the best crapes and sandwiches in the universe, but it’s not the ingredients or the pots and pans that make the difference, It’s that I absolutely love watching you enjoy your meal and put so much love into everything I make for you. If you didn’t know, in 2015, I have the bariatric surgery. I couldn’t eat for three months and was fed through a pick line. I am still not able to eat nearly as much as I would like to, so watching others enjoy their meal filled me up.
I’ve learned so much in my darkest and hardest times that I am so grateful for. What I’ve come to conclude, is that no matter what your beliefs or opinions, political party movements you support, age, color or religion, at the end of the day, being kind, having empathy and being good to one each other is what is most important in life. Thank you for your time, your business and your love.