18 years ago, in a studio apartment, Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies was started. Over the years, through hard work and strict adherence to a philosophy of bringing the New York area the absolute best key lime pie, we have grown and been embraced by the foodservice industry and the public. We have seen difficult times previously; moving into our current Red Hook waterfront location on March of 2001, and 6-months later the 9-11 attacks would cripple the economy and the city for months, but we prevailed. Super-storm Sandy arrived and delivered a different kind of hardship to us and our Red Hook neighbors. Sandy delivered a waist-high flood of water that washed through our entire space from one end to the other. Yet another difficulty in which we believe we will again survive.
Our losses of income, product and equipment are all replaceable, but our employ has been upheaved. I'm proud of the fact that through my business, I have fed many mouths, and not just in terms of your dessert after a meal. My hard-working and devoted employees and their children have also been effected by Sandy's wrath, and we are intent on making sure their hardship is reduced during our recovery. We've watched 5-children grow up within the walls of Steve's Authentic, we will not let them down in their and our time of need.
After a two-week wait (as of Tuesday, November 13th) our electricity was finally restored, although not completely. Only now can we fully access the extent of our damages, much of the equipment still needs to be inspected and tested, some is obviously beyond repair because of direct salt-water intrusion or simply too old. A lot of basic structural work needs to be done; removing and replacing sheetrock walls, inspection and maintenance of electrical services, re-tiling and painting. We had a tremendous loss of product, literally thousands of pies and the basic materials we use to make them, and thousands in packaging materials was lost. Now that the electricity has been restored, we feel confident we can start to re-order and replenish our lost inventory. Our front counter and service refrigerator were washed away and trashed, along with four freezer units. The office furniture and supplies, electronics, computers, gadgets and knick-knacks -numerous items that won't even be missed until we look for them because we need them- trashed. Much of the equipment and tools we use for in-house maintenance were totally lost.
The community outreach has been tremendous, a real testament to the tenacity and resolve of Red Hook residents and the neighboring communities who turned out in huge numbers. The Red Hook Initiative, our neighborhood outreach organization has been on top of things in terms of assisting both the residential and business communities effected by Sandy, and Restore Red Hook was recently created to assist the businesses in need, both quite worthy of support.
With your direct financial contributions to Steve's Authentic, we can make the essential repairs to become operational, replace our lost equipment and inventory and help fund our "family" of employees in the process. We typically use end-of year funds to make improvements and upgrades, putting what little money we have in the coffers back into the business, but with the loss of production -especially through the Thanksgiving season- we suffered a huge setback. If we are fortunate enough to exceed our goal, those funds would be used to make the improvements we were planning on doing in the regular course of business.
Now that our oven and walk-in fridge are working, we plan on cooking food for the Sandy victims in the Rockaway's, Staten Island and our own Red Hook Houses, giving a little assistance to those who cannot cook for themselves. Anyone who has contacts with food purveyors who can offer donations or discounted foods (chicken and potatoes primarily) please contact us as.
From all of us, our direct and extended family of employees and friends, we offer a sincere thank you and gratitude.