EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed local businesses take extra measures, just to stay open.
On January 23, the daughter of an Evansville business woman took to social media, asking the community for its support.
Her mother, Kelly West, is the owner of Mimi’s Gourmet Pasta Sauce, Inc.
“It is very unique,” says West. “It is a taste no one has ever tasted before. It’s sweet and spicy. It is sweet at first, and then it has a kick.”
It all started more than a decade ago, when West decided to sell her mother’s beloved pasta sauce after years of encouragement from family and friends.
“I said mom, ‘I need that recipe,’” says West. “She said, ‘I don’t have a recipe. I just use a jar and add to it.’”
Fast forward ten years, and West eventually landed Mimi’s Gourmet Pasta Sauce in nearly every local grocery store. All production and packing for the company is done right here in the Tri-State.
Last year, however, the coronavirus pandemic brought the company to a halt.
“You don’t know, behind closed doors, how you can’t sleep at night, because your co-packer can’t get this or that,” says West, “and you need to make these runs. You have to put them in the stores.”
On top of meeting demands, West worked for an entire year to get her sauce into local Walmart stores.
“When the manager, Brandon, of the Newburgh Walmart told me he could help me get my product in,” says West, “I screamed all the way from Newburgh to the west side. I was so excited.”
With the pandemic still looming, West’s daughter, Alexis Wheeler, fears her mother’s business could struggle without support.
“You have to sell a certain amount to be in there,” says Wheeler, “and I am just too scared of her getting pulled. She has put her entire life into this.”
So Wheeler took to social media, asking the community for help.
“I posted on my Twitter as well,” says Wheeler, “because I thought I have to do something, and then I started selling on Etsy for her.”
Check out the Mimi’s Gourmet Pasta Sauce twitter account here.
So far, the post has gotten thousand of likes and retweets, as this mother-daughter duo encourages residents of the Tri-State to buy local.
“We just value all the support that we have,” says West. “We are so grateful.”