Ben and Ali Koenig, who responded to the coronavirus pandemic by transitioning their popular restaurant, Heritage Eats, into a much-needed food and grocery delivery service, have been named Napa County’s Small Business of the Year by Sen. Bill Dodd.
“When the fallout of the pandemic became clear in the middle of March, we had so many fears and anxieties as to what the future would hold,” said Ben Koenig, who opened the restaurant with his wife in 2015.
“At first, we saw a daunting road ahead for most everyone locally, including ourselves, but found that there was a real opportunity to help support and grow the community spirit that Napa is so well founded on.”
“We are humbled and honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire Heritage Eats family,” said Ali Koenig. “We are so grateful to be part of the local community and have tried hard to be a source of joy amidst all of the chaos.”
Heritage Eats – temporarily rebranded as Heritage at Home as the crisis unfolded – initially offered its full menu for take-out customers sheltering at home. But the Koenigs soon realized people needed more.
They retooled their restaurant to add essential grocery store items such as toilet paper and paper towels, meats by the pound, baking supplies and fresh produce.
Customers placed orders online and the Koenigs used their catering truck to make deliveries throughout the area. In addition, the couple created an online meals donation system that put food on the tables of more than 2,000 first responders and families in need.
To make things fun for kids cooped up at home, Ben Koenig dressed up as the Easter Bunny and delivered baskets and egg dye kits on Easter.
On Cinco de Mayo, Heritage at Home supplied pinata and taco-making kits. The Koenigs credited the Napa Chamber of Commerce for helping their business through the crisis.
“It’s an honor to recognize Ben and Ali for their resourcefulness and generous spirit,” Sen. Dodd said. “They’ve contributed so much to our community. This is what being a truly great small business is all about.”
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