Sonoma business group provides free meals to community

Sonoma's Best Hospitality Group, a collective of nine businesses in the city, is in its sixth-week of providing free meals to the community, including hospitality employees abiding by Sonoma County's shelter-at-home order.

The prepared meals are made in the kitchen of Ramekins Catering at 450 W. Spain St. and distributed at the nearby Vintage House Senior Center and General's Daughter restaurant. 

Karin Rogers, Sonoma's Best Hospitality Group's director of business development, said more than 5,000 meals a week are available to seniors, families of up to six people and employees of Sonoma's Best Hospitality Group whose hours have been reduced by COVID-19 or are sheltering in place. The Group also offers meals for purchase online, and donates cash to the Meals on Wheels program in Sonoma.

"So far we haven't had to lay off any employees in the group," Rogers said.

"Our company's first priority was ensuring that our employees are safe, can work where possible and have food on their table," Rogers said. "Elevated hygiene protocols have been in place from the start in March." 

The pre-cooked family meals for up to six people are distributed at the General's Daughter restaurant 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 120 individually packaged meals for seniors are distributed at the Vintage House Senior Center  11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The meals are usually gone within a half-hour, Rogers said.

"We have received some very touching thank you's from the young and old. A lot of people are in urgent need. I have had people sobbing when they pick up their food," Rogers said.

The businesses in are The General's Daughter, Ramekins, Cornerstone Sunset Gardens & Marketplace, Dirty Girl Donuts, Sonoma's Best Modern Mercantile, Sonoma's Best Guest Cottages, Harrow Cellars, Cottage Inn and Spa and Folktable.