Foundation’s largest single donation aimed at rescuing Miamisburg restaurants

Miamisburg Community Foundation Vice President Shon Myers (left) and foundation President Greg Bell (right) present a check to A Taste of Wine owners Chris and Urmila Holloway Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. The check was one of three distributed to area eateries by the foundation's newly established Louis Epperson Restaurant Rescue Fund.
Miamisburg Community Foundation Vice President Shon Myers (left) and foundation President Greg Bell (right) present a check to A Taste of Wine owners Chris and Urmila Holloway Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. The check was one of three distributed to area eateries by the foundation's newly established Louis Epperson Restaurant Rescue Fund.

A newly established COVID-relief grant is helping Miamisburg restaurants offset some of the burden during challenging economic times.

Miamisburg Community Foundation distributed checks last Friday to three restaurants in the city’s downtown: A Taste of Wine, Lucky Star Brewery and Mz. Pickles Sandwich Shop.

The grants came from the Louise Epperson Restaurant Rescue Fund, which was established last month when CPathe, a Miamisburg-based design, manufacturer and installer of demonstration kitchens for food and wine events nationwide, donated $100,000 in memory of its founder.

By the time Epperson died at 48 years old in 2017, CPathe had created more than 4,000 cooking kitchens for hundreds of food and wine events, celebrity chefs, television shows, conferences, conventions and sporting events. That fostered in her a love for restaurateurs, said her husband, Dan Epperson.

“The tenacity of small restaurants enduring this pandemic requires the same qualities that Louise embodied every day,” he said. “I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to help them remain viable, and (I) look forward to the day when we can once again enjoy great meals with all our friends and neighbors sitting nearby.”

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Grants are based on need, said Foundation President Greg Bell.

“We’re trying to look at rent, utilities, medical, employees that they’re trying to keep on, if we can keep them afloat for three months,” Bell said.

A Taste of Wine co-owner Chris Holloway, said receiving the grant money was “fantastic” and will help him retain employees at his business, which offers a selection of wine and beer, plus live entertainment.

“It’s a godsend to have somebody willing to support and is interested in supporting the smaller businesses,” Holloway said. “This is a tough time for everybody and many times people have asked me how business is going and it’s not going great right now, but at least my doors are open. It’s because of things like this and people like them who have stepped up and helped us.”

Mz. Pickles Sandwich Shop owner Carol Brassington said she was about to shut down her small shop of nearly 10 years when she received the grant money.

“I was thrilled,” Brassington said. “It’s going to keep me alive until spring.”

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For the foundation, which started with “zero money and just a little bit of momentum,” the $100,000 donation to establish the restaurant rescue fund was its largest single donation.

Contributions to the fund now exceed $135,000. Local restaurants seeking assistance can submit applications for direct grants from the fund starting today. Applications can be obtained by writing to bellgregr@yahoo.com. Any money leftover may be included as part of a possible third round of grants.

The foundation is seeking additional tax-deductible contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations at www.miamisburgcommunityfoundation.org/donate.

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