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The Comeback: Catering business finds way to giveback and start its comeback during pandemic

After 33 years in business, MBP Distinctive Catering has taken the ultimate hit. Their delivery trucks are empty.​

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Every single business has been affected across our state including the hospitality industry, which is a big part of our economy, especially with conventions in downtown Indianapolis.

But 13News Anchor Andrea Morehead shares a story about one of our state's premiere ambassadors who says "The Comeback" is already happening during this pandemic.

“It’s just tough. Like none of us expected this to happen," saif Brandy Briscoe, director of sales for MBP Distinctive Catering in Indianapolis.

After 33 years in business, MBP Distinctive Catering has taken the ultimate hit. Their delivery trucks are empty.

“We had several events on our calendars and weddings, and as you can imagine everyone started panicking, emailing, and calling us trying to figure out what are we doing, how can we help, especially our brides," Briscoe said. "You know, that’s a day they’ve spent their whole lives planning.”

Despite losing over a million dollars in revenue and having to let 90 percent of its workforce go for now, MBP is making a comeback.

”Thank goodness for that unemployment that everyone is able to get," Briscoe said. “We have some of the best clients here in the city and in the state, and one reached out to me and was like, 'Hey, you’re one of our favorite caterers and we use you on a regular basis. How about you partner up with us to help take box lunches to hospitals?'”

More clients have partnered up with MBP to cater to front line workers as well.

Last week, 250 lunch boxes were delivered.

Catered meals for front line workers. (MBP Distinctive Catering)

This week, they've made more than 1,200 lunch boxes, and the client list wanting to help the effort keeps growing.

“The fact that we have the opportunity to give back to the community is just great. We just want to show our appreciation for those on the front line. Without them where would we be?" Briscoe said.

Health care workers are getting chips, a mixed fruit cup, a brownie, a beverage and a great main entrée like a roast beef sandwich on rye.

“And then we have dill chicken salad, which is one of our most popular sandwiches we have. You can’t go wrong with chicken salad, right?” Briscoe said. “Let me tell you, we got good lunch stuff."

While they hope to be catering weddings and other events this summer, until then, they’re finding purpose in giving kindness and generosity – that’s Hoosier Hospitality at its best – giving back.

“This is a comeback. We went from not having anything to having all these box lunches this week," Briscoe said. “I just want everyone to know, especially in the hospitality industry that all is not lost, we’re all in this together, and we will get past this."

The good news is that of their 100 employees, no one has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The catering company doesn't expect to be to back to full operation until October, but it's already making safety changes. For example, buffets will have servers, and all staff and delivery drivers will wear masks.

Some of the hospitals they've delivered to include Eskenazi, Methodist, Saint Vincent, Community North and Community East, Saint Francis, Riley Hospital for Children, and coronavirus testing sites like the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

If you have a COVID-19 related story that will help inspire us to get through this together, email Andrea at thecomeback@wthr.com. You can find more inspiring comeback stories by clicking here.