Brant Wilkins saw and fulfilled a need this weekend that's helping out some Hermann residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Wilkins, who owns the Captain Wohlt Inn, served up 50 pans of homemade lasagna Saturday on First Street. Wilkins had earlier announced a plan to help out the community during the pandemic. This past weekend, he offered family-size (six servings) lasagna meals-to-go that could either be picked up in front of the Hermann Wurst Haus or personally delivered to anyone in a high-risk category, through Facebook messages. He explained the reasons why he began the first-come, first-served project.
"As with many other small businesses in Hermann, this pandemic has adversely affected our business," Wilkins wrote on Captain Wohlt's Facebook page "My hope is that we will be able to survive the effects of the numerous travel closures. I believe it is my duty to try to keep my employees working and to do as much as I can to help the community and those who may be suffering even worse.
"With that in mind, I have decided that the best way we can help is by lending a hand…" he continued. "I am lucky and thankful to have the health and ability to help. I have a county-approved kitchen and the best chef in town!"
Wilkins said he asked those interested in purchasing the frozen bake-at-home lasagna to pay what they could, while asking those with the means to pay more to do so as a way of assisting Hermann residents in need.
"For those who can not pay, there will be no cost and no questions asked. My company and I will make no money from these meals and any and all tips will go to my employees who will be helping make these meals," he added.
Mary's Famous Cookies were available along with the lasagna for dessert. Donations to help the effort, with checks being made out to local grocery stores, were also taken to buy supplies to continue the program.
"We are all in this together, and if we work together as a community, we will get through this as best we can," said Wilkins.
At least $350 raised from the lasagna sales was donated to the Hermann Food Pantry. Besides its storefront, Wurst Haus is also providing freezer space for the meals.
Captain Wohlt, which like all of Hermann's bed-and-breakfasts has been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, can boast of at least 30,000 likes on Facebook.
"I've got great, great customers," Wilkins said, who notes he's willing to continue providing the lasagna meals and cookies.
Food was also delivered Sunday to Hermann Area District Hospital and Hermann EMS.