Lyons Industries doing its part to support local restaurants amid pandemic restrictions

Published 12:54 pm Thursday, December 10, 2020

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DOWAGIAC — The COVID-19 pandemic has done a number on small businesses across the state of Michigan, especially restaurants and eateries. A local business is doing its part to support local restaurants while showing appreciation for its own employees.

Lyons Industries, 30000 M-62 West, Dowagiac, purchased 135 individual deli lunches from Sister Lakes Brewing Company, 92500 Co. Rd. 690, Dowagiac for its first and second shift workers on Tuesday.

“When COVID first locked everything down, we knew that we wanted to do something not only for employees but for the community as well,” said Lyons Industries president Lance Lyons. “So we started buying food from local restaurants.”

The meals were from Sister Lakes Brewing Company’s new boxed deli meal program, which offers individually boxed meals featuring a wrapped deli sandwich, a bag of potato chips and a kosher dill pickle to area businesses.

Orders of that size must be made 72 hours in advance, Morin said. Due to health department restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, the business was operating at reduced hours. The volume of the order allowed Morin to give his staff more hours in order to complete the order.

“We have found that businesses with larger staff want to show employees appreciation for their hard work,” said Sister Lakes Brewing Company owner Joe Morin. “Staff not having to pack or buy lunch saves them both time and money. It’s nice for us to be able to provide a service and for them to help local businesses. It helps the community as a whole. Everyone needs it right now.”

According to Lyons, the purchase is just the latest effort by the company to support both its employees and local eateries during the pandemic.

The company orders treats from The Baker’s Rhapsody, 144 S. Front St., Dowagiac, every Monday, orders two meals from two local restaurants (one meal apiece for first and second shifts) Tuesdays and Thursdays, offers half-priced food options from its food supplier every Wednesday, orders treats from Caruso’s Candy and Soda Shop, 130 S. Front St., Dowagiac, every Friday and one meal from a restaurant on Saturdays when production takes place.

Lyons estimates the company has provided more than 13,000 meals for its employees during shutdown periods. The way Lyons sees it, the company is giving back to the community that has supported it.

“We’ve been very lucky,” he said. “COVID has been an unexpected boon for us. We’ve done a lot of bathroom remodeling, which is 99 percent of our business, and went from being very busy to extremely busy. We felt we were very lucky and wanted to share that luck with our employees and the greater Dowagiac community. Our employees are essential workers and our community businesses are navigating trying times. It was just the right thing to do.”