Having persevered for three weeks through the limitations of the current public health situation, Arlington’s Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery is temporarily closing its doors to ‘Call-In, Carry Out’ service on April 1, 2020. Chef/owner David Guas will continue his mission to provide the community and underserved kids and families with free, grab-and-go meals [Monday-Friday.] Guas founded the Chefs Feeding Families program, a collaboration with Real Food For Kids, which has been operational since the closure of Arlington County Public Schools several weeks ago. Chefs Feeding Families provides free, plant-based, nutritious meals for students, their families, and military families. By the end of this week, Guas will be serving on average 400 FREE meals a day.
Guas says that curtailing his three weeks of ‘Call-In, Carry-Out’ service for the general public was a tough decision – but that remaining open was no longer sustainable. As people hunker deeper down to shelter-in-place and flatten the curve, Guas also felt it was important to take every precaution and protect the safety of his staff and patrons. “The support for our carry-out service in recent weeks has been tremendous and heartwarming. As a small business that values local sourcing, our longevity affects the ‘survival’ of our vendors, as well as our staff: we are at an important point in the economy and the ripple effect will be powerful. But we also know when to say ‘enough,’ for now. We are so grateful to our patrons who’ve kept us going, and we can’t wait to get back to being their go-to gathering spot.”
Meanwhile, Guas assures everyone who ordered pre-paid cookie boxes in the current “Hump-Day Bake Sale” that their goodies will be ready for pick-up on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Proceeds from the Bake Sale are helping the eatery support its staff. He is especially touched by an order from Arlington’s Key Elementary PTA, who purchased 150 cookies as an extra treat for families on the meal program. When families arrive for pick-up, they’ll also find an extra spirited boost from the #HappyBags lining Bayou Bakery’s windows. Cheerfully painted with colorful messages and impressive illustrations the paper bags have been decorated by local kids sharing a new approach to the traditional “brown bag lunch”. Previously, the bags had been used for the carry out orders.
For the foreseeable future, Guas and his small team will be handing out free protein-rich meals, available for pick-up from 11 AM – 1 PM on weekdays, when Arlington county kids would normally be fed lunch at school.