DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — When CBS 17 first met Fabianne Simmons two weeks ago she described things at her restaurant as dire.
She’s the owner of Backyard BBQ Pit in Durham. Not only did the restaurant need costly repairs, but they were also trying to keep the food affordable amid high inflation.
So, Simmons turned to GoFundMe for help.
“I’m so grateful — so, so, so grateful for my community. They showed up. We were suffering,” Simmons said.
More than two weeks later, Backyard BBQ Pit has collected nearly its goal of $50,000 in donations.
“We have a lot more people (coming in). Our demographics are changing. We have some people who have come in and want to start buying our sauces,” said Shaniya Martinez, a niece of Simmons.
Another person, who Simmons described as an angel, even donated new appliances.
“Our freezer and cooler will be here in a week and a half. Our fryer and stoves are here currently,” she said.
With the restaurant receiving overwhelming support, they now want to give back.
Recently, they donated to a Raleigh bakery to help keep its doors open.
“So, we’ve been reaching out to small businesses. Even people who do stuff at home. We are a restaurant, but that doesn’t mean we won’t help out another restaurant. Because at the end of the day, we all co-exist,” Martinez said.
Martinez said they are working to start a non-profit. The restaurant also plans to collaborate with organizations to continue to help small businesses in the area.
The restaurant, which is located at 5122 N.C. 55, still has an active GoFundMe page.