Butter & Vine offers free meals for seniors

Imagine starting a catering company as the pandemic began.

Video Transcript

- Imagine launching a catering business right as the stay at home order started here in Illinois. Rich Levy did the pandemic pivot, turning Butter and Vine into a service delivering quality meals to people. And he launched a senior happy meals program as well, offering free meals to seniors. Rich joins us live this morning to talk about it. Thanks so much for being here, Rich.

RICH LEVY: Thank you, Mark. And good morning. Good morning from the Butter and Vine kitchen here in beautiful Hermosa,--

- Hey, excellent.

RICH LEVY: --where we are up to our eyeballs--

- I know. So tell us a little bit about--

RICH LEVY: --in matzo crackers.

- I was just gonna say, tell us about how Butter and Vine got started and what you guys are doing now, because, you know, catering at this point is-- was tough during the pandemic. Obviously, still is. So how have you pivoted?

RICH LEVY: That's true. Well, currently, today, we're up to our eyeballs in matzo crackers, gefilte fish, and brisket. As Ari-- Ari, say hello to the folks at home. She's packing orders for-- for seniors and for families all over Chicagoland for Passover.

But yeah, we are a full-service catering company. We do weddings, corporate events. And we got our liquor license on March 8 last year. So that's right as the pandemic was about to begin. And decided to pivot to start making meals for families, which is what we do now.

And we launched a program-- what we noticed is a lot of our-- our families, they-- they've got a lot of elderly parents and relatives that were isolated, and they wanted us to bring meals to them. And then those folks started calling us, because they had difficulties using our website.

And it kind of pivoted into this senior happy meal program, which I don't love to talk about it, but I'm honestly humbled by it. Our community of customers has contributed funds that we then use. When we've got enough, we-- we send out about 30 to 50 meals at a time to different seniors all over the Chicagoland area.

- That-- that is just fantastic. And it is a testament to the customers--

RICH LEVY: Thank you.

- --that you are working with, and-- and that you're sending these meals to that they know what a priority it is to-- to support our seniors out there who are isolated during this time.

I saw some of the pictures of the meals you guys have. They look scrumptious. And tell us what's going on behind you right now.

RICH LEVY: Well, you know, I'd be remiss if I didn't introduce you to Chef Miguel, who makes the magic happen. Say hello to the folks at home. And sous chef [INAUDIBLE] say hello.

- Hi.

RICH LEVY: He's a new dad. He just had a baby boy. Let's wish him mazel tov.

- Congratulations. That's fantastic. Well, you know, Rich, thank you so much for coming on and talking about this. And the best of luck to you as you continue to-- to have this adaptable business, which I just am so in awe every time I talk to an entrepreneur who is able to take this difficulty and turn it into a triumph. So thank you so much for being here. We appreciate it.

RICH LEVY: Thank you, Mark. And if you don't mind, I'd just like to say that anyone that places an order using ABC 7 can get 10% off. And if you've got an elderly parent in isolation, and you'd like us to send them a happy meal, send me an email, rich@butterandvine.com, and I'd be happy to try and accommodate them as best we can.

- Well, Rich, thank you so much. We appreciate that. And thank you for being here today. We're going to post a link of how you can order right at abc7chicago.com.