Forty thousand dollars can buy you a lot of things. For a local couple, it bought them a bottle of bourbon. A generous sum of money that is going to help keep a well-known local restaurant afloat.
While restaurants are considered essential business, many of them are left essentially broke now that the coronavirus pandemic has shut down entire communities.
Suzanne Perry and her husband are the owners of Datz, a popular restaurant chain in Tampa Bay. Suzanne said it was just weeks ago, when the pandemic really started to elevate, that she became worried for her business.
“My husband and I looked at each other and we said oh my God, this is going to completely put us out of business by tomorrow morning,” said Perry.
The Tampa Bay treasure, was forced to cut down to its core staff.
“We went from 375 employees to 27 overnight,” said Perry.
A decision no business owner ever wants to make.
“It was horrible,” said Perry.
But with some valuable collectibles on their shelves, Suzanne and her husband started listing some things on Datz's website.
“We did sell some Remy that was $3,700, we’ve sold some $1,000 bourbon,” said Perry.
But the most valuable item of all that they listed, was the Pappy Van Winkle 25-year-old bottle of bourbon.
Suzanne said she did some research online to see how much the bottle was worth, and she decided to list it for $20,000.
She said she got some phone calls from people trying to low-ball her for the bourbon, “I knew those just weren’t the right people to own this. The right person with the right intention was going to be proud to own it,” said Perry.
And a buyer showed up in a big way. A check, written to Datz, for $40,000. Suzanne said when she first saw the cashiers check, she thought it was a mistake.
“I was so moved by that incredible generosity that I literally had to leave, I was just moved and crying,” said Perry.
Suzanne said the money from the check has already helped her to hire back six of her staff members, and it’s currently helping provide meals for local healthcare workers and first responders.
“As much as we loved that bourbon and it was hard to part with it it wasn’t hard to part with it when we got to keep our staff,” said Suzanne.
The buyers only request in the transaction, was that they remain anonymous.
“It’s a local couple, they have been coming to our restaurants for years, a veteran, and this family is involved in several other organizations in the area,“ said Perry.
Suzanne, just wants to make sure that family knows how grateful she is to them.
“I’d like to say to that family, because of you, this company has been able to keep going, keep our core staff, bring some people back, and not only have you inspired me to get through what is undoubtedly the darkest time I’ve ever had in my business, you’ve inspired many many others to give and be generous,” said Perry.