ST. LOUIS – Crown Candy Kitchen and Steve’s Hot Dogs collaborated to bring St. Louis the Crown Candy BLT Dog. A Steve’s hot dog topped with lettuce, tomato, and Crown Candy bacon.
The collaboration started in early January and was running smoothly, but three Crown Candy Kitchen employees tested positive for COVID-19, forcing them to temporarily shut their doors for at least a week.
“We are closed till further notice, #covidsucks,” reads the sign out front of the St. Louis staple that’s stood on the same St. Louis street corner for more than 100 years.
Andy Karandzieff, the owner of Crown Candy Kitchen, said it was a tough weekend to have to shut down because, with people off work on Monday, it is usually a busy weekend.
“We lost Saturday, we lost today, it’s a big hit, even in COVID times, we still would have had a good weekend so it’s a tough blow for us right now,” Karandzieff said.
When Steve Ewing, owner of Steve’s Hot Dogs, found out Crown Candy had to close, he knew he could help. He posted on social media that half of all proceeds from Crown Candy BLT hotdog purchases will be donated to Crown Candy through Wednesday. He said St. Louis showed up to help Monday.
“We were selling quite a few of the collaborations everyday, but today, I mean today we had like ten times that amount in one day, we were just slammed, it felt like a summer, like a mid-summer Saturday,” Ewing said. “If it stays busy like this, it’ll be a good chunk of change to give Crown Candy.”
“I’m thinking that I’m going to be helping them out, you know in a slow time, people want our bacon on their hot dog, you know it’s a good promotion to help people get down to their business, and it turns out, the flip side of it is they’re helping us out,” Karandzieff said.
Ewing said he was more than happy to help Crown Candy, especially since St. Louis made sure his hot dog eatery stayed open, even when they had planned to close for good.
“Our neighborhood and the city has come out to help us this year so it’s, like, well we have to something to give back,” he said.
Both small business owners said it’s important for small businesses to stick together.
“We have such a great restaurant family in St. Louis, how we all help each other, I’m overwhelmed by their generosity, so as soon as I’m able to I’m going to pay it forward to somebody else,” Karandzieff said.