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Garfield Heights catering company, Apple Spice, works to survive impact from pandemic

Posted at 10:33 AM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 19:35:12-04

GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — As Ohio continues to rebound, more workers are heading back to work. For one Northeast Ohio company, this is important, because their entire business model is focused on feeding other businesses.

Apple Spice Catering opened at the end of February in Garfield Heights, getting their start just ahead of the shut down.

The company specializes in box lunch delivery and catering to local business, organizations and schools. The owner of the franchise, Mark Andrews, said for the first month, business was going well.

"It starts to ramp up and you think to yourself, 'Hey this works, this business model is working. People like the food,'" he said.

But the pandemic had other plans for Apple Spice. "Business really just kind of took a dive," Andrews.

Part of the problem, Andrews said, is that 50% of the company's revenue comes from catering. So not only was Apple Spice facing an issue with brand recognition, they only had a few orders coming in.

"When it just essentially tanks you're really worried about costs," he said.

Andrews said he was forced to cut workers' hours and shift the businesses focus a bit.

Luckily, Apple Spice was awarded a PPP loan. The company and owner have been utilizing the funds to pay employees and stabilize business until they can establish a strong customer base.

"That's been a great help," Andrews said.

While orders are still inconsistent, Andrews is confident they will rebound strongly.

"We're still just trying to scratch and claw and be as aggressive as we can to develop the business to get the name out there," he said. "It's a tough situation right now but I think that there's still a bright future."