Business was so slow nine days ago on Dec. 8 at Flavors Eatery that the Centerville restaurant’s co-owner Debbie Schell told her daughter Renee, who works at the restaurant, that she wasn’t sure she and her husband could keep the eatery open for much longer.
“We didn’t make enough money that day to cover our expenses,” Schell told this news outlet in a phone interview Friday, Dec. 14.
Schell — who along with her husband Steve had purchased the restaurant from its previous owners more than five years ago — said she and Renee started brainstorming, and her daughter suggested writing a very frank Facebook post that would seek their customers’ support.
Here’s what the post said:
“We know everyone’s busy with schedules, finals, shopping and in-laws in town, but we need you to come stuff your hungry bellies full of flavors!!! Being a small family business, we are struggling this year more than usual. We need your support! Host your Christmas party at Flavors, come meet a friend for lunch, or have a double date night and we’ll serve you a delicious dinner. If you want flavors to see 2019, we need your help with those hungry appetites of yours!! We thank you for all your love and support!!”
Over the course of the next week, that plea for support was shared more than 300 times on Facebook, and it triggered a strong surge of business in the restaurant, which is located at 865 E. Franklin St. across from Centerville High School.
“We are thankful that so many have responded,” Schell said. “I must have spoken to six or seven tables that had never been in the restaurant before, but they came in to support a small, family-owned shop, which is what we are. It has been incredibly heartwarming to see that many people some in and say, ‘We want to support you, and by the way, we will be back, because your food is great.’”
“For us, it’s a Christmas miracle,” Schell said. “And I’m serious.”
Four days later, Renee Schell expressed her family’s gratitude in a follow-up post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. It read:
A HUGE THANK YOU to all who have supported us this week!!
Since our last post, we have had a great busy week thanks to your help!!! Packed to the brim each day so far this week!! Thank you for all your love and encouragement you’ve given Flavors!!”
And on Friday, Dec. 14, the restaurant posted:
We are absolutely blown away by your support!! You all have been our Christmas miracle for our family!! We asked for your help and you all extended your hands with so much support!! Keep us in your 2019!! We still need you!!
This week has been the busiest we’ve ever seen it during the winter!! So thankful for your never ending love and support!! It’s been overwhelming to our family to see everyone filing in one after another and being so patient while we bustle around getting everyone’s food.
The menu at Flavors features health-conscious dishes that include wraps, salads, quesadillas and “Flaky Bakes,” healthy ingredients stacked atop a flour tortilla and baked.
The restaurant also offers what it calls “Meal Hacks” meals to go that are designed to be a healthy alternative to fast food. Customers can pick up their orders on Monday and heat and serve the meals during the week. Meal Hack menus are posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mealsbyflavorseatery.
Flavors in Centerville shares the same name as a similar restaurant in Lebanon, but has separate ownership.
Flavors Eatery’s winter hours are Monday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed Sunday.
The restaurant’s phone number is (937) 434-6336.