|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
Contact: Gregg Fraser
Fraser Consulting Group
Phone: +1 (808) 782-8462
Email: [email protected] and Italica Restaurants in the Ward District have ceased their take-out and delivery dining options in order to utilize their kitchens to help feed those in need. The project is known as the Aloha Lives Here Campaign, created both to help feed those in need and to help local food distributors stay in business as so many of their customers have canceled or greatly reduced their usual orders.
“It didn’t make sense for us to keep doing delivery and take out, so instead we decided to use the kitchen to feed families and kupuna in need. We buy our food in bulk at wholesale prices to also help the distributors, then Chef Jeffrey Vigilla creates and cooks the meals,” said Viaggio and Italica General Manager Gregg Fraser.
Chef Vigilla’s meals are as enticing as ever – one of this week’s meals was a braised short rib on hapa rice with grilled carrots and chef’s special gravy. The meals are then distributed through partner organizations like the Show Aloha Challenge and Aloha Harvest. Aloha Lives Here is currently creating approximately 500 meals per week. Fraser is anticipating an even higher community need in the next few weeks, and that’s what he’s been preparing for. The Aloha Lives Here campaign raises funds for the meals by selling “Hawaii Strong” shirts at alohaliveshere.net. Each shirt is priced at $20, with 100% of proceeds going toward the program. For every shirt sold, Aloha Lives Here is able to provide four meals.
“With Mayor Caldwell’s recent announcement that Oahu’s stay-at-home order has been extended to May 31, we know that families are going to continue to face hardships. Programs are running out of money, system networks are overloaded, people need assistance, and a lot of it isn’t coming quickly enough. We hope to be able to really fill in some of those gaps by providing delicious, nutritious meals,” Fraser said.
Fraser is no stranger to adapting his restaurants in a time of crisis. Fraser owns Opakapaka Bar & Grill on Kauai’s North Shore, and when the floods of 2018 came, his restaurant, along with the surrounding community, was completely cut off from the rest of the island when Kuhio Highway became blocked. Opakapaka was one of the only places in the area that didn’t flood, so it became a community hub that fed community members, first responders, emergency workers, and more, for free or highly reduced prices, for nearly 14 months.
Thanks to his 40+ years of experience in the restaurant industry, as well as his experience with the Kauai floods, Fraser has plenty of good advice to share with others in the hospitality industry. “We weathered the storm before because we did what we had to do to survive. This is a survival period right now, because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” Fraser said.
His biggest piece of advice is to make sure to scale operations to match the business that is actually coming in, which requires fine tuning operations. He also suggests taking the time to research and apply for as much assistance as possible, whether it be grants, loans, or other programs.
Part of Fraser’s commitment to giving back to the community includes making himself available for free initial consultations through Fraser Consulting Group. For more information, restaurant owners and managers can email Fraser at [email protected].
To learn more about Aloha Lives Here and to donate or order a shirt, visit alohaliveshere.net. Families in need of food assistance can email Fraser directly for more information.
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|About Aloha Lives Here|
Aloha Lives Here was created to assist local groups and organizations in the feeding of Hawaii’s Kupuna and Ohana in need. We are all joining forces to create the “Hawaii Strong” brand, collectively coming together for a common cause. We will be raising funds through the sales of our exclusive t-shirts and other donations from corporate and individuals. Our group will be using the funds to purchase food items in bulk from local distributors, at a reduced rate, to create more meals for those in need. By purchasing in bulk and preparing the meals in our commissary kitchens, we will be able to spread the funds further and feed more people. No one knows how long this will last; we all need to do our part to help our community survive.