Like many, Patty Pace took frequent outdoor walks in the neighborhood at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The former chef and LHHS 2000 graduate got to know her neighbors and their struggles during these walks. She used her background in cooking and baking to give back to the neighborhood by preparing weekly meals beginning in late March.
“I wouldn’t have known my neighbors this way before,” Pace said.
10 months later, the pandemic continues and so do Pace’s weekly meals. She has made over 30 varieties of Southern Comfort meals along with a slew of baked goods.
“You do what you know and what people like and that’s what I grew up on,” Pace said. “I felt that’s what people were needing at the moment, just comfort food.”
Every weekend, Pace posts what meals are coming for the week on her Facebook and Instagram pages as well as on a Lake Highlands moms Facebook group. Deliveries take place between 5-6 p.m. every Tuesday. Neighbors’ requests often make it into the weekly rotation, she said.
Pace’s mother, a retired Lake Highlands school teacher, helps her with meal preparation in the commercial kitchen at Four Corners Brewery. The mother-daughter duo recently maxed out on meals per week at 60 servings, Pace said.
Word of mouth has been the perfect form of advertising for Pace, she said, as it helps her make connections with her customers and prevent her operation from growing too fast.
Meal preparation will not end “anytime soon,” Pace said, even as she continues her work in sales at Eno’s Pizza Tavern and on other projects.
“I don’t know that I will grow outside of my community, though. Because it’s all about relationships,” Pace said. “I know my people. I know who I’m feeding every week.”