BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Aloha Bakery & Cafe had opened in December, and owner David Evans said business started off great.
"Then all of a sudden the pandemic hit," he said.
Like millions of other business owners, Evans was forced to close his cafe to dining and lay off 23 people because of the coronavirus.
Evans said he never gave up on keeping his place open. After Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed Palm Beach County to move to Phase One, Evans was able to bring back eight staff members and open up dining at 50% capacity.
He credits a South Florida-based Facebook group called the Socially Distanced Supper Club with keeping his business alive the past few months.
"There are no words to even explain how thankful we are," Evans said.
Robin deLisser, a member of the group, said keeping places like Aloha Bakery & Cafe open has been her mission throughout the pandemic.
"To me it's incredibly important, probably one of the most meaningful things I've ever got to work on," she said.