BRANDON, Fla. - Brenda Wade and her son Austin enjoy eating at one of their favorite restaurants called The Stein & Vine in Brandon.
"Lunch is our family meal," explained Wade, owner of Wade Team Realty. “We'll just go out to lunch grab lunch together."
When COVID-19 hit the ritual had to stop. Wade started doing pick-up service to help out the eateries and saw how they were suffering.
"I've gone in these stores. I go in to grab lunch and it was like no one was there. No one. It was just scary," Wade said.
Wade and her real estate team decided something had to be done. They started a social media page called “Restaurants in Brandon & Tampa area”.
"We had 300 the first day and by Sunday we probably had about 1500,” she said. “So, we got 1500 by the end of the first week we were over 5,000."
Ty Mathis and his wife Lacey own The Stein and Vine Restaurant.
"That was a huge, huge boost in business for us and I know that it helped a ton of other businesses," Lacey Mathis said.
Wade said the site has had more than 60,000 posts.
"We immediately had people kick in,” she said. “The people who live here they started saying. You know this is my favorite place for pizza, have you tried it?"
Lacey Mathis said the Facebook page brought visibility to all these amazing hidden gems that are around the community that a lot of people didn't know about.
The site already has more than14,000 members.
"It makes me feel very happy to know that we had an impact on their business on their lives," said Wade.
Many of the restaurants have given away from gift certificates to show their appreciation to their customers.