EXETER — In this time of crisis, many businesses are working creatively to meet community needs, which in the case of LANEY & LU in Exeter has led to an initiative that provides nourishment in several ways.
“We have delivered more than 125 items of donated food and drink to individuals working the front lines in medical facilities as well as those in need,” said Founder Jennifer Desrosiers.
She credited Exeter resident Suzie Quigley, sister of LANEY & LU’s Chief Creative Officer Stef Heitz, for starting “the movement.”
“She just went on social media and said she wanted to donate lunches and asked others to donate through her by placing orders through LANEY & LU,” said Desrosiers.
On the movement’s first day, community members donated and LANEY & LU made and delivered 24 lunches.
“It sparked the idea that we could put this movement on our menu,” she explained.
Individuals who want to join the effort can now add “Give A Smoothie” or “Give A Bowl” to their online cart. It is a concept, said Desrosiers, that has attracted support from well beyond the Seacoast.
“We have had orders from Nashville, San Francisco, Florida and other locations,” she said.
In “this spirit of abundance,” Desrosiers said many other small business owners are “jumping in to contribute, too.”
“We are so grateful for the support, time and care of our customers,” she added. “I am just amazed at how such a tragic situation is bringing people together.”
According to Quigley, bringing people together is crucial right now.
“When everyone in the food industry was told to close and move to takeout and delivery because of the virus, it broke my heart--no one was downtown here,” she said. “I racked my brain for a way to help a local place and the community.”
The incredible response to her idea reinforces for Quigley the meaning and power of community.
“People want to donate, share the love and show appreciation,” she said. “In times like these, people want to be part of something positive and empowering.”
Expressing appreciation for Quigley and “everyone involved,” Desrosiers said “Give A Smoothie” and “Give A Bowl” represents “impact upon impact.”
“Everyone is saving the jobs of my 16 employees, enabling them to support their families, too,” she said. “From the bottom of our hearts, we thank everyone for their support, kindness and generosity.”
In the spirit of LANEY & LU’S core values, Desrosiers said she is committed to giving “Give A Smoothie” and “Give A Bowl” a permanent spot on the menu.
“We are looking for recommendations for agencies in need,” she said. “We want to keep the movement going and support each other in this beautiful way.”