Created: December 07, 2020 10:23 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Hot Mess restaurant partnered with KOB 4 to help Pay it 4ward to Mandy’s Farm, a nonprofit that assists individuals with disabilities.
"The food is inspired by—I'm from South Carolina— the food is inspired by my hometown,” said Larry Jenkins, co-owner of The Hot Mess.
Jenkins said the name of his restaurants is a phrase he finds himself using often.
"Well the name is something I say all the time. Someone's a hot mess, or— if something's not going right—this is a hot mess,” he said.
The Hot Mess opened in June 2020. While Jenkins knew that opening a restaurant during the pandemic was going to be tough, he decided to push on.
"A lot of people would tell us we were a little crazy for doing it. However, we saw beyond that. We know, at some point in time, the whole COVID is going to get fixed, and they're going to find a cure, so we thought now was a good time,” Jenkins said.
"We're not doing it to get rich. We're doing it to provide a living for other people and ourselves,” he added.
Jenkins said the key to their success lies in consistency.
“That has a lot to do with everything. If you have a good product, being consistent is one of the hardest things you can do,” he said.
After the pulled pork sandwiches and barbecue baked beans were prepped, the KOB 4 crew loaded up the meals and headed for Mandy’s Farm.
Jessie Calero, development director at Mandy’s Farm, said they’ve had to adjust their operations just like every other business.
“It's been a difficult period of adaptation for us and for the people we support. We serve over 200 individuals and families each month, and those are all people with developmental disabilities, and this tends to be a population that experiences a lot of isolation and doesn't necessarily get to access everything that other people get to access anyway,” she said.
Calero stressed the importance of providing a community space for the visitors at Mandy’s Farm.
"We don't want people to feel alone, to feel isolated, to feel lonely, and so we've tried to pivot as much as possible to virtual programming, so that even if we can't come together and do horseback riding and swimming and get out in the community and grow produce together and do all the things we normally do, we at least get to see each other's faces and have that sense of community,” Calero said.
“Whether they're seeing them virtually or supporting them in their homes, it's been incredible to see how important those staff members are to the people we support,” she added.
For more information about Mandy’s Farm, click here.
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