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Celebrating Small Businesses: Annamarie’s Place Stays Open, Helps Fellow Local Restaurants Stay Afloat and Feed Families in Need During Pandemic

running-a-business | Read Time: 2 minutes

By Eric Springer | Published: May 2021

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Each week in May, WSFS Bank and FOX 29 are teaming up to honor a small business in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region that overcame the odds to persevere and succeed during the COVID-19 pandemic. WSFS Bank is proud to provide Annamarie’s Place with a $2,000 award and a live segment on FOX 29’s Good Day Philadelphia as part of the WSFS Bank Small Business Resiliency Program.


After being in business for 26 years, Annamarie Chestnut knew she had to prioritize two things when the pandemic hit: her team and her community.

Her team wanted to work, so Annamarie’s Place quickly switched from a breakfast and lunch establishment to serving all meals as a takeout restaurant. Having never served dinner before, Annamarie’s purchased food and supplies from other restaurants who could not stay open, helping them recover some of their money.

Her team even began catering to local businesses – their first catering order was for 250 meatloaf dinners!

Having pivoted so quickly, Annamarie was “flying blind” when ordering food quantities but also knew local families were in need, so any food that was close to expiration was given away.

Meanwhile, Annamarie’s Place was renovated to eliminate a small counter that was difficult for the staff to socially distance near, adding more safe space to continue operating according to state guidelines.


Having been entrenched in the Royersford area business community for so long, Annamarie knew more was needed, however. She gave her servers raises, they switched to working the register and organizing takeout orders, and they rallied to create a Facebook coupon campaign that featured restaurants and other businesses that were able to stay open and serve customers, taking an “all for one and one for all” approach to navigating the pandemic, one day at a time.

Check out Annamarie’s appearance on Good Day Philadelphia!





About the Author – Eric Springer
Eric Springer is Assistant Vice President, Integrated Communications Manager at WSFS Bank. He brings more than 15 years’ experience in corporate communications and marketing for banking, professional services and nonprofit organizations.

 

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