President’s Letter Spring 2nd Qtr 2020
Hello, Friends of Applewood!
The year has certainly had an unexpected start, but someone once said there are no negatives in life – only challenges to overcome that make you stronger. I honestly think that is a great way to look at the uncertainties we are now facing. It is important to take time to breathe, look for the blessings that are around you and keep your faith. I want to thank each of you who have reached out with well wishes, encouraging words and to let us know you miss visiting … we miss you as well! You all are truly a blessing and we hope you are all doing well.
I am thankful that our team here at Applewood are all healthy and going the extra mile to do whatever it takes to get through this COVID-19 situation. Seeing folks step up to help those around them in challenging times lifts my spirits. Businesses, organizations, communities … you name it … coming together, making sacrifices, adapting to protocols and mandates … it is overwhelming and frustrating for all of us I am sure but it is also wonderful to see the care and concern that is pouring out for friends, family, neighbors, and those around us. Many of you, like myself, have had to make difficult decisions and changes in your daily life, your business, your career, your family … and I know some have been major changes. I can’t begin to imagine the full impact, but I commend you for your strength and perseverance and continue to hold each of you in my thoughts and prayers.
I want to thank those who have offered assistance to my team, me personally and to the company as a whole during the past several weeks. I appreciate those who extended leniencies and explored ways to assist in order to allow us an opportunity to cope with the days, weeks and possibly months to come. I appreciate the understanding of our team and how they have rolled with the punches and continue to persevere.
If I may, I would like to especially mention a few business partners that have made a difference for us. Pinnacle Bank (Knoxville, Tn), Celeris Networks, Tazikis Franchising, Hobart/Star Equipment, Perfection Group, Sweetwater Management, Holrob-Schaffler Partnership, and American Express all have stepped up to the plate and offered ways to assist. If you ever have the opportunity to do business with any of these companies, you have my personal recommendation that each offers quality service and care for the needs of their customers. The representatives we encountered with each of these businesses went above and beyond with empathy and understanding to extend terms, discount fees, postpone payments all while they too were facing challenges.
Each of you also deserves special thanks and recognition. You have supported us and been faithful friends for over 35 years. You have allowed us to become Sevierville’s Oldest Restaurant…for that I am forever thankful. Many of you are continuing to support us now by ordering online and utilizing curbside pick-up. We are grateful for your support and for helping us to sustain a small number of our staff. You all are our heart and soul and we are blessed to continue to serve you although in a totally different manner.
We continue to do what we can to support our team impacted by the virus. Applewood has implemented a free meal program with no contact pick up to ensure our team stays well fed. Management remains in close contact with all our team members to ensure they are safe, well and in good spirits. We hope to have temporarily furloughed staff start in May.
On-site … each team member has limited their “inner circles” to remain safe and healthy. Gloves, sanitizers, masks are all provided and utilized in accordance with the CDC and health officials’ guidelines. The team is practicing social distancing at work and at home and taking even greater precautions than ever before. We continue to monitor all onsite team members daily, encourage them and assess their wellbeing. Policies and protocols are in place to allow only on shift team members in the building. Deliveries are routed through a designated drop off area and staff has no contact with delivery drivers. Boxes and packaging are all cleaned. Food safety standards and handling have always been high, but they have been taken to a whole new level.
For our neighbors, we are offering delivery within a five-mile radius in addition to our curbside pickup and online ordering through our website. We have also entered into an agreement with Grub Hub to better serve you. We also approved rolling out a new meal deal that feeds a family of four for $25. Options include your choice of Chicken and Dumplings, Sugar Cured Ham or Meatloaf with two family size sides and a dozen of our famous Applewood Apple Fritters with Apple Butter. Additionally, we will now offer our famous Vegetable Soup and Loaded Potato Soup in quart containers to go.
On behalf of everyone at the Farmhouse … we miss you! We are concerned for you and your families just like we are our own. We pray for you and want nothing more than your health, safety, and wellbeing. As much as we look forward to seeing each of you again when we re-open our doors, we encourage you to please follow the advice and protocols of the CDC and your local health officials. Continue to maintain social distancing while finding alternate means to stay in contact with those you love and care about.
Keep the faith … we are here for you!