Written by Sasha Johns and originally published in the Shelby County Reporter on August 4th, 2020.
The Shelby County Iron Works Pancake Breakfast has been a community favorite for years for several reasons. Aside from the fantastic deal on pancakes, locals from the south end of the county have enjoyed the community and often chance to get to chat with local officials all while supporting the historical preservation of the park.
But with the state shutdown in March, the pancake breakfast was put on hold for four months in order to follow the state mandates and in an effort to protect the attendee’s health. Many of the volunteers and the supporters are at high risk when it comes to COVID-19, and the Iron Works values their safety.
“Due to COVID-19, the safety of our volunteers and customers was the greatest importance,” executive Jennifer Maier told us. “Joe Hutto, manager of VJ’s Restaurant and Bar in Shelby, advised us about best practices with food handling. A lot of time went into organizing the event to make certain we kept everyone safe.”
Each meal was served in to-go boxes complete with individual packets of syrup and butter, so the cost of the supplies was a little higher than normal as changes needed to be made. This made the event even more grateful for their sponsors.
Finally, Aug. 1, the Pancake Breakfast resumed though it looked a little different. All seating was moved outdoors to the beautifully shaded park and windows were opened for ordering and pick up.
The pancake breakfast has been one of the main fundraisers that help keep the Shelby Iron Works Park running. The four months without it have hurt, but the turnout for the first socially distanced breakfast was an encouragement to the army of volunteers that help run the event.
Several local businesses including VJ’s Restaurant, Feel Good Pita, Beeswax, Spring Creek Grocery, Shelby Exxon and Stokes Automotive sponsored the event or provided supplies and manpower to offset the cost of putting it on so that funds could go farther.
“We had very good feedback about this breakfast,” Maier told us. “Plus we’ve had some individuals approach us about sponsorships. It’s amazing how the community provides for us. We are blessed beyond measure.”
More donations were put in the donation jar at this particular breakfast than usual. “Three times as much as we normally receive,” Maier said, proving that the community cares about its history and preservation.
The next breakfast is on Sept. 5 and will also be socially distanced. The Pancake Breakfast is always held on the first Saturday of each month. Visitors from all over the county and beyond are welcome to come to support the Shelby Iron Works and invest in not only history but also the community.