A local business is giving back to the community after recently receiving grants from Citizens Bank and Discover.
The owners of J. Gumbo’s Delaware, Richard and Nathalie Upton, learned earlier this month the restaurant would be receiving $15,000 as part of a Small Business Minority Grant from Citizens Bank. The couple said at the time they would use some of the funds for renovations in the restaurant and donate part of the money to the community.
The Uptons said they were appreciative of the community’s support during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding the restaurant never shut down because of that support.
On Friday morning, the Uptons and their son, Alexander, presented a check for $1,000 to Family Promise Delaware.
“We want to pay this blessing forward,” the Uptons said. “We want to share the blessing our family received with one of our favorite nonprofits, Family Promise Delaware.”
Gwyn Stetler, executive director of Family Promise Delaware, and Tonia Wilson, Family Promise Delaware’s director of Housing and Family Services, visited the restaurant at 9 N. Sandusky St. Friday morning to accept a $1,000 check.
Alexander Upton told them the check was originally supposed to be $500.
“My dad said $500 but since I am the future owner, I am making it $1,000,” he told told the Family Promise representatives.
“This is just lovely,” Stetler said after receiving the donation. “One of the big impacts when someone gives like this is it reminds us that we’re sharing resources and respect for others. That’s a very big deal. Sometimes when people are without a home, there’s a sense of feeling isolated, neglected and forgotten. This is great.”
The Uptons learned this week the restaurant will also be receiving a $25,000 grant from Discover as part of the company’s Eat it Forward Program. Discover previously announced it would be giving 200 $25,000 awards to Black-owned restaurants across the country to help them bounce back from the pandemic’s effects, adding winners were selected randomly based on social media nominations.
Discover highlighted J. Gumbo’s “Community Love Meals” program, where the restaurant matches donations to provide food to those in need within the community.
The Uptons said they will be using the grant from Discover to write more checks to local nonprofits.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @Battishill.