LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — He was reluctant to answer the call at first.
The weight of being a restaurant owner during a pandemic has only gotten heavier with new restrictions that have closed indoor dining for now, Chef Jeremy Ashby said.
On Tuesday, the Azur Food Group partner was feeling the stress of the situation when he was told there was a phone call for him. He didn't want to answer, he said, assuming it was a sales call. But he was told the woman on the phone was adamant she wanted to speak with him.
"Something tugged at me that day and said, you know, you need to answer this call," he said.
The woman said she had seen Chef Ashby cook on TV and thought he seemed kind. Then, a back and forth where she shared details of her life, Ashby said.
"The whole conversation has kind of floored me, brought me to my knees because I think there's a lot of people that are alone right now," he said.
The woman, named Joan, shared with Ashby that it had been about three years since she'd gone out to dinner with someone. And with her birthday coming up just a couple days before Christmas, she asked if he could send her a cake, Ashby said.
He agreed and, looking for someone who could deliver the cake to her, he shared the story on Facebook.
The post garnered hundreds of likes and shares, and people began to offer help.
Ashby has now asked anyone interested to write a card for Joan to send along with her cake.
"We all need each other. We all need somebody," he said.
He's glad so many others have answered his call.
The cake and cards will be delivered on December 17. Ashby said cards can be dropped off or sent to Azur Restaurant, 3070 Lakecrest Circle in Lexington.