Friends, customers lift up West Monroe caterer during pandemic

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The owner of a West Monroe catering company, Gator Girls Catering, has been struggling to keep her business afloat through the COVID-19 pandemic. But she’s not taking on the challenge alone. Friends, fellow chefs, and customers are stepping up to help Bridget Harrison and her business through this tough time.

COVID restrictions, social distancing, and people simply wanting to stay home have limited many events to a small number of guests. That clearly makes things tough for Harrison, whose business is the type that thrives on big events with big guest lists. Without those events, money has been hard to come by, so she has tried to supplement her income in creative ways.

“We had to rely on curbside and casseroles,” says Harrison. “It wasn’t enough revenue to bring in.”

As bills came in, Harrison was at a loss and feared her livelihood would become another statistic, another business casualty to COVID.

“I was at the end of my rope,” explains Harrison. “I don’t know how to exist without Gator Girls. What do I do?”

That’s when customers, fellow chefs, and friends stepped in to help. They started a fundraising page online with the goal of giving Gator Girls a chance to beat COVID. Now, Harrison has hope and is getting things back in order. She also has a message for others struggling right now.

“Just don’t give up. I’m certainly not. I’m living proof that we can make it,” says Harrison. “Absolutely support your local businesses.”

Now she is moving to a new location in the area with other businesses and looks forward to things getting back to normal. Or at least closer to normal than we’ve been in a long time.

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