A community has pitched in to save a historic café in Washington state from closing.
Tana Baumler, who has owned the Maltby Café for 33 years, has treated her customers like regulars and her 45 loyal employees as a second family, KIRO reported.
But when the latest shutdown order affected her business, Baumler fell into despair.
“For the last two months, I’ve just been sick knowing we were close to closing down,” she told KIRO, adding that her takeout business was not enough to support her employees and to pay for supplies.
Baumler decided to give her loyal patrons an outdoor dining experience called the Miracle on Maltby Street to raise some money and possibly go out of business with a bang.
“What I felt was even if we couldn’t make it, I was going to go out fighting,” she said. “I wanted to give the very best experience to all our regulars who have been here forever and create a Christmas memory.”
Suddenly, loyal customers, friends, and community members pitched in to help. The takeout business soared. One person donated a dining tent, and another person set up a GoFundMe page, which boomed with donations from generations of customers and community members.
The GoFundMe page raised more than $26,000 as of early Thursday afternoon.
Within a day, Baumler had enough to cover her rent and pay for her employees’ health care benefits.
“I’m humbled beyond humble,” she said. “I can’t believe this is happening. I’m so excited because you know what? No one’s going to be out of health insurance for December, January or February maybe. It truly is a miracle and I just can’t even tell you how that feels.”