Bernard Maher turned to his community on Facebook for help in supporting his newly established business, and the post went viral, gathering over 7000 shares.
Edenvale, South Africa (13 April 2021) – Bernard Maher was one of the countless people that had a business fold during the lockdown. With what he had left, he took a chance and opened a cafe in Edenvale but once again found himself at the mercy of the pandemic and the ever-changing lockdown regulations.
Not one to sit by idly and watch his hard work go to waste, Bernard took to Facebook in January to ask for help. He didn’t want to ask for funding or any type of donated support; what he asked for was people to visit his cafe, to have meals and help him cover rent and salaries by making the business a success.
“I lost a business in August, and using the equipment I was left with I opened a little coffee shop in Edenvale in December. I know that during the current crisis it’s not the best time, but had to try something to earn a living.
Times being as they are though, I am struggling to get enough people through the door to even cover rent, never mind salaries. I’m not looking for handouts but would ask if you’re in the Edenvale area, and looking for great quality food, please support my little business – Uncle Sam’s Kitchen is at Shop 12, Eden Place, 41 Van Riebeeck Avenue, Edenvale [Johannesburg]. I need all the support I can get to stay afloat”
The post was shared over 7000 times since it was posted, and Bernard has also taken steps to make his business a place for all.
From creating a space for local artists to showcase their work to allowing artists to host events and workshops. These small events also bring in some money by way of food and beverage orders. Bernard has used public participation as a tool to create a space that would be welcoming for all. He regularly asks his customers for feedback and ideas, taking every recommendation seriously.
Throughout his own struggles, Bernard has kept true to his belief in supporting small business. Should you find yourself able to visit his cafe, you will see his little shop, which boasts stock from multiple small businesses. His shelf space is made up of different vendors, all given a chance just like he has been given.
Without the love and support of his community, his Facebook plea may have never reached as many people as it has. It is a great day when you get to see people rally to support someone else’s dream. You can find out more about Uncle Sam’s Kitchen via Facebook here.