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Local 'I heart mac & cheese' owner gives 'mac' to the community during Arctic blast

Posted at 6:58 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 20:34:26-05

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — The clouds have cleared and the snow has melted, but the impact from our historic winter storm is far from gone.

One local business owner in College Station, despite the setbacks, continued to serve those in need. Sharing with 25 News, that her losses go far beyond food having to be thrown out.

Laura Livingston says, the massive winter storm devastated her, and one of her businesses, from all angles, but she insisted on serving everyone in need during the crisis.

"Then, as it became apparent that people were out of electricity, they didn't have heat in their homes, electricity or water, therefore they couldn't make food, it became an urgent need to be open to serve the public," Laura Livingston, Owner of both of College Station's I Heart Mac & Cheese locations shared.

Livingston says, on top of the dangers of the storm itself, the last delivery truck that came in... was 10 days ago.

"The whole area... all of Houston, shut down, and they were unable to get any food delivery out of Houston. We didn't get a truck for the weekend, for the entire week the storm was here and we lost power at our Jones Crossing location," Livingston added.

The power loss at her Jones Crossing location forced them to throw out all of the food in their refrigerator and on the line, but with what they could salvage from the freezer, they transferred to their Century Square location and started cooking to anyone, and everyone, they could feed, including at no charge to first responders.

"We had a lot of people that came. We were just basically going through the food that we had and serving anybody that we could. We served first responders for free. We had a line out the door all day long for 2 or 3 days," Livingston added.

Livingston says the hits were from all angles. The absence of food and electricity at one location, along with water issues; the losses started piling up.

"Right now.. losses are... probably with sales and with food and lost wages... Oh... I don't know... it's hard to say. It's somewhere between 25 and 50 thousand dollars," Livingston added.

In the midst of the chaos and devastation, Laura's will to serve the community did not go unnoticed and now has a couple of new customers because of it.

"My husband is an EMT, he works for the county now, so anytime we see somebody that is pro-first responders, we definitely like to support them," Sarah Bratz, a Bryan resident, and brand new customer.

Livingston says, next week, rent is due at both restaurants, the electricity and insurance will have to be paid.

She's currently calculating payroll and says, all bills have to be paid, regardless if you have missed a week of sales.