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Miss Sophie’s pushed through for the employees, but made it through thanks to the community

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 3:11 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - For Miss Sophie’s owner Teri Bell, the pandemic certainly felt like the end.

“I told my husband I said, ‘this is it. It’s over. I mean there’s no way we can survive this.’”

But despite the initial fears, Teri and her husband decided right then quitting wasn’t an option.

“What really kept us from quitting was our employees. Because we have people who depend on us for a livelihood.”

Like many businesses they adapted.

“We set up a little drive thru out front here at the museum,” said Bell.

While she would love to say she didn’t have her doubts, the truth is, “I never knew from week to week whether we were going to be open next week.”

But week after week, they pushed through.

Although they decided to stay open for their employees, Teri says it’s something else that made it possible.

“That’s what keeps us going is community and the way this community has come together and supported small business has been so important.”

Despite being back open inside Miss Sophie’s is still missing part of their typical business.

“We’re a caterer. That’s our main business and that hasn’t come back.”

Teri saying weddings and other events are still scaled down meaning smaller orders.

But once again it appears the community is helping make up for it.

“Our actual lunch business has grown,” Teri says.

Miss Sophie’s finding a way to not only survive this pandemic but learn from it and maybe even be better because of it.

“I think we are better off in many ways because we’ve stopped and smelled the roses this time.”

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