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We're Open: Restaurants, food distributors open inventory to the public

Loffredo Fresh Foods Warehouse
Posted at 10:01 PM, Apr 14, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Kansas City, Missouri’s stay-at-home nears the one-month mark, businesses dealing with food are doing anything to drum up business.

"We’re a destination spot you know, in Columbus Park, it's not somewhere you don't get a lot of foot traffic," Michael Elliott, owner of The North End, said.

The restaurant located at 910 East 5th street is constantly searching for ways to survive the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted restaurants to close dining areas and adjust to curbside or delivery service.

"Everything that we do here is pretty much made from scratch,” Elliott said. “So we have a lot of raw material, stuff that you would find in the grocery stores.”

Within three days of last month's stay-at-home order, Elliott made those goods available to customers.

The North End now includes a copy of its inventory in every food order.

"I can get this every day,” Elliott said, “so it was more of a thing, just making sure that, you know, people could come and get, you know, meats and breads and toilet paper and stuff like that when I had an endless supply of it.”

Some of the larger players in the supply chain also are joining in.

For the first time, Loffredo Fresh Foods is offering their produce to the public.

"There are lot of people out there with their hand out that they need what we had,” said Gary Waldrup, sales manager at Loffredo Fresh Foods. “And it's a perishable product. So rather than just watch it go to waste, we found outlets for it.”

For $25, customers can pick up a box of fresh veggies or fruits from the company's warehouse in the West Bottoms, 750 Wyoming St., without leaving their car.

"To help people follow the guidelines, why not provide the best produce that's available that has not been touched by human hands," Dave Reinhart, a sales member with Loffredo Fresh Food, said.

The company is seeing early success in the week since launching the service.

Back at North End, they're not surprised.

"I believe that the city is going to rally as soon as this is over and really show all the small businesses like us, you know, what we’re about," Elliott said.

We've created a Facebook group, We're Open Kansas City, where members of the community can post businesses serving their community.