As a single mother of six, Debra Soehngen knows a little something about feeding and caring for children. And now, as the owner of Jam’s Cafe in Spring Hill, she is passing on her care and concern to the children of Hernando.
Like other eateries, Jam’s Cafe has closed its dining room as a safety measure in response to the Covid-19 virus crisis. Yet the restaurant continues to offer advance order for curbside pickup/takeout and delivery services, which people procure by calling the restaurant at (352) 686-0090 and ordering ahead.
From the time that schools closed in Hernando County, to the time that they open again, Soehngen has vowed to provide free meals to the children of customers who order meal service from the cafe, 4185 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. Every one parent who buys one adult meal can get two complimentary children’s meals from the Jam’s Cafe Kids Menu.
“So many people are struggling and out of work,” said Soehngen. “I wanted to do something positive.”
This small business owner is covering the cost of all free meals.
“This is out of pocket,” she said. “I wanted to help.”
Because aside from being a business owner, Soehngen is a mom.
“As a mother of six children, now grown,” she said. “I understand the struggle.”
This mom has designed a Kids Menu for breakfast and lunch filled with fun and nourishing meals. Silver dollar pancakes. Mickey Mouse pancakes. A small pancake with a slice of bacon and an egg. Chicken strips, mac and cheese, a burger, a grilled cheese sandwich, or a hot dog, served with fries or potato chips. And, of course, peanut butter and jelly.
“When they can eat in the restaurant, I see the kids smile when they see the Mickey Mouse pancake,” she said, referencing the kid-friendly breakfast treat cooked in the likeness of Mickey Mouse–mouse ears and all. “Now parents can bring the meal home to their kids.”
In the past, Jam’s Cafe has hosted fund-raisers for cancer and autism research. And on occasion, Soehngen says that she has taken food out to serve homeless people standing around the cafe.
“I just can’t help it,” she said.
Another thing that Soehngen can’t help is thriving and surviving in the face of this crisis.
“I’m a trooper. I’m going to keep my restaurant open as long as I can,” she said. “We must think positive. We will get through this.”