Support for Firehouse Deli & the Yu Family

Dear friends,

Today, I am reaching out to you all with one goal: to save my family's business.

My parents, both South Korean immigrants, have been independent small business owners for over a decade. Eight years ago, they purchased Firehouse Deli in Gaithersburg, MD, and have been its sole owner-operators ever since.

Independent businesses are truly the lifeblood of their communities, and my parents have transformed Firehouse into exactly that. Over the years, they have invested their own time and savings into the deli, working 7 days a week, 10+ hours a day, to provide exceptional catering, sit-in, take-out, and delivery services to everyone who walks in the door. They have gained countless loyal customers in the process, including Montgomery Executive Center employees, Gaithersburg firefighters and law enforcement officers, and neighborhood residents, who my parents know by name and treat like family.

The food service business is a notoriously unforgiving one, but our deli has survived even the most unforeseen setbacks: in 2018, we were forced to shut down for almost two months due to structural problems with our building. Yet my parents' dedication and work ethic has never wavered, and they continue to show up, day after day, for the patrons who do the same.

Now, COVID-19 presents a new challenge. As Asian-Americans, my parents have been targets of the widespread xenophobia surrounding the virus, and business has been declining since its outbreak. On March 16, all Maryland restaurants were ordered to close, and we can now only serve customers via carry out or delivery. Catering orders have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, and we have lost more than 70% of our usual income. It is imminently possible that we will have to close Firehouse Deli indefinitely, should the coronavirus continue to spread.

All of the funds collected through this campaign will be withdrawn by me and transferred directly to my parents for use in covering the deli's usual expenses, such as rent payments and our employee's salary. Our business is my parents' pride and joy; they have worked tirelessly to make it a success and to earn enough to send me to college in New York City. As such, I have made it my goal to help Firehouse Deli survive this difficult time, and I would be incredibly grateful for any help and support along the way.

With love and hope,


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Jennie Yu 
Potomac, MD
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