MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The closure of restaurant dining rooms has impacted more than restaurant owners and employees; it’s also affecting their suppliers.
A&A Produce is a Myrtle Beach wholesale company that typically sells to restaurants in our area, but they shifted their focus to the community during the pandemic.
Andy Kemp owns A&A Produce and tells News13, when Governor McMaster ordered restaurants to close their dining rooms on March 17th, they had nearly $100,000 worth of inventory in their warehouse and decided to start selling produce boxes.
“I’d say within a week we had all that inventory sold and then we just started buying more,” Kemp says. “I was able to keep employees working and buy more groceries and keep the wheels still turning instead of kind of laying up and waiting; we had to be proactive. We’re still buying produce and I have about half of my employees still on staff.”
The boxes are $20 and are available at several pick up locations as well as their warehouse.
Kemp says, people don’t even need to get out of their car, just drive up and they will put the box in the back seat from a safe distance.
He tells News13, partnering with area restaurants is a way to help local businesses get people in the door and helps them sell more boxes; something they plan to keep up long after the Coronavirus pandemic passes.
“It’s helping bring traffic to those places to distribute those boxes and now which has lead to another thing, now people are even more scared and don’t wanna get out of their house, so we’re going to them; we’re going to the neighborhoods.”
Kemp says they will go to any neighborhood in the area that needs 20 boxes or more.
Kemp says his family has lived in Horry County since the 1800s and it’s surreal to see how the coronavirus pandemic has affected our area.
“Just to see the beach dead, the restaurants closed, the Grand Prix closed and all these places closed is devastating for our community, ” Kemp says.
Right now the company is partnering with: Crooked Oak Tavern, Groucho’s Deli Georgetown, Boathouse, Buoy’s on the Boulevard, Crave Italian Oven & Bar, Sol Y Luna Cantina, and three Mellow Mushroom locations.
Each of the restaurants has produce boxes from A&A to sell throughout the week for certain hours.
You can find more information here about restaurant pick up hours, and when they will be in your neighborhood.