Local food group turning into an essential business

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – Hundreds of employees have been getting laid off, restaurants have been struggling to come up with ways to survive, but a local food group has changed its store to make a profit and to continue feeding our community.

Mark Estee, C.E.O of Reno Local Food Group, had all five of his businesses in Northern Nevada closed.

“This disease, this epidemic, this pandemic, it spared nobody and that’s what we have to remember. This has gutted everybody,” stated Estee.

After Estee had to lay off almost 200 hundred employees he is working on ways to assist them and follow through with their mission of supporting our local community.

“We want to take care of people, we want to take care of our people,” explained Estee. “I don’t think anyone out there is making any money. I know we are losing tremendous amounts of money, weeks leading up to here we were doing anywhere from 145,000 to 125,000 in sales, between 5 locations, to 0.”

As a result, Estee has turned the front of his location at Liberty Food and Wine Exchange into an essential business, where customers can find take-home kits, pizzas that can be tossed into the oven, and other items for an affordable price.

“We just want to provide essentials to people that live around here, we want you to be able to take it home put it in the microwave, or put it in the oven, or you can go home and make a pizza, we will have pizza kits,” said Estee.

Estee said safety is his number one priority, he makes sure to protect the health of every guest entering his business, where he takes all preventative measures.

“We survive on our locals, and if our locals are out of work, they are not going to be able to spend money,” Estee stated.

It is a time of panic and frustration for many business owners, but staying together and contributing to our local economy, can help Northern Nevada stay strong during these difficult times.

The essential store located at liberty food and wine exchange will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2 pm-7 pm.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020