Food truck gets support from Barstool Fund following emotional plea for help
Dough Boy Fresh Pretzel Co. owner Jeff Carter was forced to close because of the coronavirus pandemic right before the food truck was going to expand into a building.
Dough Boy Fresh Pretzel Co. in Baltimore got financial support from the Barstool Fund after the owner, Jeff Carter, submitted an emotional plea for help and now he is paying it forward.
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The former food truck owner turned wholesaler told "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" on Monday that he feels “an immense amount of responsibility" to do something charitable himself after receiving assistance.
“Not everyone gets this opportunity so what we do is we host food trucks on our site, on our lot, four times a week,” Carter said, adding that donations raised go straight to those food trucks.
“We’ve been blessed, but there’s still people hurting,” he added, noting that “we know how tough winters are, not even when COVID is around.”
Carter submitted an emotional plea for help from the Barstool Fund around Christmas. In the video he said, “I’ve offered help to everyone and anyone that I possibly could and now is the time that I ask for help because we truly need it.”
Carter explained that he was forced to shut down due to coronavirus restrictions shortly before Dough Boy Fresh Pretzel Co. was scheduled to have a grand opening on their production facility.
“Dough Boy Fresh started as a food truck in Baltimore about three years ago, we’re coming up on four now,” Carter said. “We were operating for about three years as a food truck and we had a building lined up. We started a production facility. We wanted to do a wholesale line of products for other restaurants.”
“We had a whole summer planned with our food truck. We wanted the building to service that,” he continued.
“We got licensed on March the 8th. We had a grand opening set for the first weekend in April and obviously, that didn’t happen with COVID and everything.”
He stressed that it was difficult to plan anything when they “were pivoting back and forth” due to coronavirus restrictions.
Carter noted that there were times over the past few months “that we could still operate with the food truck and then there were times where we could do carryout out of the building and now we focus solely on the wholesale line.”
“We actually ended up selling the food truck just to keep us going and it was just a constant pivot,” he said.
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He explained that he filmed the video for the Barstool Fund around Christmas, which is a “very important time” for him and his company.
“I learned actually how to make dough from my grandmother,” Carter said, pointing out that he even has her recipe tattooed on his arm.
“Unfortunately this was actually the first Christmas that I didn’t have my grandmother with me. She passed away in July. It was from a COVID quarantine so I wasn’t able to see her.”
He added that on Christmas morning he couldn’t sleep because he “had about a month left of funds.”
“I saw what Barstool was doing and I decided to share the story about my grandmother, emotions just overcame me,” Carter said, describing what he was feeling as he filmed the video and shared how important the business was to locals
“That’s all we do is we support local, all of our ingredients are local, all of our events are local, everywhere we go is local, and we didn’t have that anymore,” Carter said.
“Barstool saw us hurting and Barstool helped,” he said.
Carter was one of 74 small business owners struggling during the pandemic that has received financial support from the Barstool Fund as of Monday afternoon.
The Barstool Fund has raised more than $16.9 million from more than 139,000 supporters as of Monday.
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Dave Portnoy, founder of media company Barstool Sports, started the fundraising effort last month along with the nonprofit 30 Day Fund, aiming to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. He contributed $500,000 of his own money toward the effort.
Portnoy introduced the fund in a Dec. 17 tweet, saying businesses could submit stories to [email protected] to be considered for the fund.
Carter said that during the pandemic “91 cents on every dollar that came into my business this year went straight to my employees.”
“That’s not what you want your operating cost or your labor cost to be so what Barstool generously has done has now pledged $15,000 a month to go straight toward our payroll,” he added.
Barstool is continuing to accept applications from small businesses to take part in the Barstool Fund and submissions can be sent to [email protected]
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FOX Business’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.
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