Donor gives entire stimulus check to West Branch pizzeria

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 9:16 AM CDT
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Herb N' Lou's Pizza in West Branch located in Cedar County got the all clear to open its doors to customers last Friday, but it remains empty.

Owner Teri Hazelwood still doesn't think it's safe.

"We are a small community surrounded by bigger communities that have higher case rates right now," Hazelwood said. "It was the best choice for the safety of my employees and the community as a whole to not open just yet. Financially it would be great I would love to welcome people with open arms, and we will get there, but ethically just not quite yet."

Herb and Lou's is still serving the community with Carryout, curbside and delivery.

"I haven't had to lay anybody off," Hazelwood said. "We have all of our employees, bartenders are now our delivery drivers. We are keeping everyone busy. We are taking a big hit from the bar not being open about 50 percent of our income."

While Hazelwood is taking a financial hit by not opening her doors she is getting some support from her loyal customers some of whom have even donated their stimulus checks to help Herb N' Lou's continue to operate during these tough times.

"I got a letter one day and it appeared to be a thank-you card which we've been getting a lot of," Hazelwood said. "Enclosed was a $1200 check. They are still working, and they are OK right now, and they felt that was the best way they could give back and give support right now. In their letter they mentioned they would hate to lose us and that just meant the world to all of us here. Since then, we've got other checks. We really are all in this together. It has meant the world to us."

That is the true definition of Iowa nice. Remember to support your local businesses whenever you can.