Steve's Authentic; Relocate & Recover
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.
We're still far away from being finished, which I think is a good thing. We're gearing up for dealing with Whole Foods (in a few weeks) which we're not quite sure is a good thing yet.
I did want to give everyone an opportunity to visit our website and sign up for our mailing list if you were interested keeping in touch with us, or if you're not in touch with us via Facebook but by email, stop in and say hello . I'm not sure how long I'll have access to the GoFundMe pages nor how long I'll want to bother you via this method.
Basically, I just wanted y'all to know I haven't forgotten about you. From all of us here at Steve's, have a great Thanksgiving.
As an update, we've managed to complete the bakery and are totally operational. We realized that in our rush to become operational, we weren't really focused on the next ten-plus years of growth and expansion, some of which is catching up to us already.
Through the kindness of our friend and landlord (two words rarely uttered together) we've taken on additional space to expand our refrigeration capacity and to relocate our packaging operations separate from our pie-production operations. We are still -little by little- completing the construction. With the generous contributions all of you made, however large or small, we've managed to cover a great portion of our costs. We are quite thankful to all of you.
As promised, I will keep your emails and at some point, make contact with you regarding some form of tangible (or edible) thank-you.
As the sun sets on this day, we're actually quite happy where we are and how this past 12-months have played out for us. It was difficult at times, but in the end, quite rewarding. As of midnight tonight, we're offline with this campaign.
Cheers to all of you and again, a heartfelt thanks from myself, my family and all the staff here at Steve's Authentic.
Sorry for a re-post, but I had to edit something.
But thanks to my buddy Roger McKee and those who sponsored him in the Gettysburg Marathon, we're getting some final support dollars coming in over the next few days. My deepest gratitude to Roger and Mindy for putting this together.
Now more than ever your support is so valuable to us, as our rebuilding campaign has shifted to a relocation effort. We have been graced with people in this effort who are extending their kindness through being flexible with payment arrangements, as our costs far outweigh our initial stated goal for our rebuilding.
To all our previous donors, again our appreciation. Below is where we are in our progress, thanks to your kindness.
Our plan is to have our transition from Pier 41 to our new space (details to come) on April 1st. Making a move like this under "normal" circumstances would be financially challenging enough, this is why your generosity is even more valuable to us. Construction costs were limited at the existing space, just enough to get us operational. Hopefully we'll be able to manage the relocation with the limited budget we have due to Sandy. We thank you again for your support. We'll keep you all posted.