“Helping you out of the weeds”
APRON, Inc. was founded in 2011 by a group of individuals with ties to the local restaurant community. Apron supporters include owners, servers, chefs and others concerned about our local independent food and beverage service workers. They realize that independent restaurant employees may be susceptible to financial distress in times of crisis.
The mission of APRON, Inc. is to provide temporary, limited financial relief to professional food and beverage industry workers in the Louisville, KY metro area who work at locally owned establishments and who are experiencing financial distress due to illness, injury or other issues. Food service professionals who have suffered an accident, family emergency, criminal act committed against such person or other catastrophic event are eligible for assistance.
APRON, Inc. has been granted tax exempt status by The Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
As an enthusiastic early supporter, local restaurant entrepreneur Dean Corbett commented: “The local restaurant community is a very large family. As with any caring family we work together to help our own. I’m proud to be a supporter of APRON, Inc. and urge you to financially assist this worthwhile endeavor.”
Food service workers and their families may apply for assistance by submitting an application to APRON, Inc. Applications are available at www.aproninc.org.
For more information on donating, volunteering or otherwise supporting this worthwhile group please contact APRON, Inc.
Starting in 2013 APRON Inc has awarded The Dean Corbett Award for service to Louisville’s Independent Restaurant Community.
2013 Dean Corbett
2014 The Maker’s Mark Promotion Team
2015 Stacy Roof and the Kentucky Restaurant Association
2016 Steve Coomes and Laura Buchanan, Coal’s Pizza
2017 Caroline Knopp, Simply PR
2018 Paul Tuell, Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey
Occasionally the Board of Directors votes to give The Director’s Award for great service to APRON Inc.
Ed Vermillion and Cindy Stewart
Ellen Gill McCarty
IN THE PRESS
Lenihan Sotheby’s Perspectives Podcast
The Perspectives podcast, hosted by Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty, profiles some of the finest institutions that make up the cultural fabric of Louisville. So we were thrilled when they approached Gary Fox, president of Apron Inc., to come on the show and talk about the upcoming Dine Around For Louisville event and about some of the local people our nonprofit organization helps.
“The independent restaurant community is such an integral part of Louisville now,” Fox explained to show host Greg Fleischaker. “So many different places have called us the top 10 restaurant cities, or the top eight restaurant cities, including National Geographic. The independent restaurants, which are the life blood of Louisville, they’re such small businesses that a lot of them can’t afford to help their staff in times of need, where big corporations can.”
Our Next Fundraiser is February 8th, 2017!
- Dine Around For Louisville features 35 participating restaurants who agree to donate a portion of their sales to Apron Inc.
- Sponsors include Corbett’s, Equus, Finn’s Southern BBQ, Verbena Café, Louvina, the Fat Lamb, and many other fine restaurants.
- All you have to do is show up AND EAT! Making a donation is just that easy! (We also accept cash donations, of course.)
- Some people do breakfast, lunch, and dinner at restaurants on that day to maximize their contributions.
- Others like to rent a limo and hop around to participating venues as an opportunity to try new dishes.
- Dine Around For Louisville raised $18,000 last year, we hope to raise even more this year!
The Restaurant Community needs us more than you may think…
It’s easy to look at a successful fine dining restaurants and assume they’re raking in the dough. Yet, Chef Corbett told us the margins in a fine dining restaurant are very thin. After paying for the fine ingredients, the Open Table fees, the staff salaries, and all the other overhead expenses, many locations are operating on a razor-thin profit margin of 2.5-4%. He does what he can to help his staff members out of a pickle, but tapping the support of the community at large has helped more than 100 people and provided more than $150,000 since our organization began.
Many of the backstories of the people we help are too sad to share without sobbing. Our very first fundraiser was done to help out a local chef who had slipped and fell, racking up quite an emergency room bill. Another time, we covered two months of rent for a dessert chef who was put on unpaid leave and doctor-advised bedrest for the last month of her pregnancy. Seeing her five-year-old soccer today truly warms our heart and makes us thankful we’re in a position to help.
Visit https://www.aproninc.org/events to learn about our other upcoming fundraisers. Tune into the Louisville Perspectives podcast regularly at LSIR.com/blog to hear more about the people, restaurants, and organizations that make our city a great place to live!
Take a listen to the full podcast episode and let us know what you think!
The Perspectives Podcast series is hosted by Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty where host Greg Fleischaker takes a look at the culture of Louisville and what makes the city so interesting and full of possibilities. More episodes like this one, or in-depth looks at local neighborhoods such as The Highlands, St. Matthews or Anchorage Ky, can be found at their website at www.lenihansothebysrealty.com.
APRON Inc. formed to provide restaurant employees with emergency relief
Two grim facts about the restaurant industry are too few of its employees have health insurance, and the cost of providing it is unaffordable to most independent restaurateurs—yes, Mr. President, that is a fact.
The net result often is staffers who lack insurance in case of illness or emergency, so they either avoid seeking help when ill or face significant debt should they require care without insurance.
With the goal of helping some of these employees, a group of local Louisville volunteers—some of whom are restaurant employees—have formed an emergency relief fund named APRON Inc. The group’s slogan is both appropriate and argot correct: “Helping you out of the weeds.”
“Many employees find themselves with unexpected illnesses and out of work for a few weeks, short on money and unable to pay their rent or electric bills, or they have an auto accident and don’t have a car any more. They can come to us to apply for assistance,” said Gary Fox, co-founder and president of Apron, who is a server at Equus & Jack’s Lounge. “We will have a limited amount of funds to help, but it’s something we can to do. So we’re encouraging other restaurants to donate what they can to this fund to help others.”
After Dean Corbett, owner of Corbett’s, Equus & Jack’s, pledged $2,400 (essentially $100 a month for both of his restaurants) in 2012, APRON created “Dean’s Challenge,” to encourage others to do the same or similarly.
“This is something that has been needed for a long time, especially given the cost of health insurance,” Corbett said during last Thursday’s broadcast of his radio broadcast of the Chefboyardean Show. “When I started thinking of it, I realized I give away at least $100 a week in free appetizers to guests. So to set aside $100 a month for such a cause is certainly worth it to help people who face catastrophic situations.”
Even if a restaurant donated as little as $10 a month, that adds up, Corbett said, while encouraging local restaurant corporations such as Yum Brands! to step up and help the cause.
Fox stressed that APRON is not insurance, rather it’s a fund to help distressed employees get over the hump of a short-term challenge. Its website (aproninc.org) has an extensive online application that potential recipients would have fill out to be considered eligible for funds.
“We are not yet funded to the extent we can start giving out funds, but with more restaurants coming on board and with a fundraiser we’re going to have June 3rd at Theater Square Marketplace, we expect to be soon,” Fox said.
That event will be held from 3-8 p.m. at Theater Square Marketplace and themed as a 1920s speakeasy-themed. Expect lots of grub and good cocktails that will include a “best of” judging for those submissions.
At $25 per person, it’s likely that even the spacious setting will fill up quickly, Fox said.
“All of those funds go to APRON, and any donation is tax deductible,” said Fox, who encouraged attendees to dress up in period-appropriate costumes. “APRON is a completely volunteer organization, so if you want to volunteer, go to Aproninc.org and sign up. We’d love your help.”