In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the destruction witnessed in the Florida Keys was nearly unimaginable. With winds gusts topping 120 mph and major storm surge battering the area, the category 4 hurricane made a direct hit on the collection of islands off the state’s southern tip. Despite mandatory evacuation orders, an estimated 4,000 “conchs,” or residents of the Keys, held their ground, knowing it might be weeks or longer before they were allowed to return following the storm.
After the hurricane’s lingering bands dissipated, island residents began coming together to try to put the pieces of their lives back in order. Without clean running water and food, the prognosis looked bleak. But at the Green Turtle Inn and neighboring Kaiyo Grill & Sushi – a pair of landmark Islamorada dining establishments that received only minimal damage – staff members jumped at the opportunity to serve first responders and their neighbors in need.
Just two days after the hurricane pummeled a large portion of Florida, the two restaurant businesses – both owned by Rich Entertainment Group* – were jointly operating a food truck from the parking lot of the Green Turtle Inn. Over the next few days, they provided hot meals, coffee and fresh water to more than 2,000 relief workers and residents. In addition, the dual operations together have already collected more than $1,500 in donations, to help fund relief efforts.
“We were fortunate there was only minor damage at our two restaurants,” said Chris Frank, General Manager, of the Green Turtle Inn and Kaiyo Grill. “It allowed us to mobilize as quickly as possible to serve others in our community. That’s the Rich’s way – to treat everyone just like family.”
As the Green Turtle Inn and Kaiyo Grill open their doors for business again, their food truck will be traveling farther south, to feed more in need in the Marathon area of the Keys.
*The Green Turtle Inn and Kaiyo Grill & Sushi are subsidiary businesses under Rich Entertainment Group.