Restaurateur and entrepreneur Jared Brewington starts his day by reading the New York Times. An article contributed by Robin Patel, M.D., Clinical Microbiology Consultant, recently caught his eye. Dr. Patel described the painstaking work by Mayo Clinic staff testing thousands of COVID-19 specimens from around the country. As the owner of Funkateer Concepts and co-organizer of Hearts and Hogs for Heroes, Jared wondered how he could say thank you to those dedicated lab workers.
To save the food from his recently shuttered restaurant, Jared had donated 443 meals to the staff at the Hennepin County jail. It now occurred to him that he could do something similar for Mayo Clinic.
Jared approached Kluver Family Farms from Northfield. Due to the shutdown of several large meat processing plants, 1,200 of Kluvers’ hogs could not be sold to butchers and had nowhere to go. When Jared asked to purchase a few hogs for providing pulled pork sandwiches to the frontline lab staff at Mayo Clinic, Kluver said, no, but they would donate them instead.
Inspired, Jared decided to tap his network. He phoned his friend Justin Sutherland, chef at Handsome Hog; contacted the Whiskey Inferno team; connected with David Fhima, chef for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx; and reached out to Craig from Cry Baby Craig’s. They all were on board to help.
Offers continued rolling in: 400 bags of chips from Old Dutch, more than 800 K-cups from Cameron’s Coffee, 400 cookies from the Buttered Tin, and coleslaw from Cry Baby Craig’s. Topping off the donations were a smoker and food truck from Whiskey Inferno and $500 from Heartland Payroll Solutions for offsetting costs.
Harnessing the energy and coordinating all of the donations was Molly Krinhop of Winebow. She partners with Jared as co-organizer of Hearts and Hogs for Heroes, a charitable organization conceived during this pandemic to celebrate those who serve.
The team of esteemed chefs and volunteers gathered on Sunday at Whiskey Inferno Meat House & Craft Bar for a 20-hour smoke session to prepare the hogs.
On Wednesday, “BBQ Pulled Pork Picnic-In-A-Box” meals were served from a food truck to deserving staff within the Division of Clinical Microbiology at the Hilton Building and Superior Drive Support Center. Off-shift staff had refrigerated meals ready to warm up when they arrived at work. In all, over 400 meals were served to Mayo Clinic staff.
Jared and his network of chefs, restaurant owners, farmers, and service industry veterans found a tasty way of saying thank you to the frontline staff at Mayo Clinic, perpetuating their mission at Hearts and Hogs for Heroes: “In love and in service….we feed.”