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Keep Local Alive rallies community to bring business to Hartland BBQ

Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 16:03:51-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Local Omaha restaurant Hartland BBQ has not had an easy year.

The restaurant, down in Benson, is a family owned business that has been open for about 13 years.

“I work with my kids, I work with my husband. It’s truly an honor feeding my customers,” Yanet Soriano, owner of Hartland BBQ said.

While Soriano says she really likes serving her customers, a series of unlucky events this year has made it a little more difficult. The restaurant was robbed twice this year, then forced to close because of COVID. Once they were getting back to serving their famous ribs, a car crashed right into their dining room.

“That caused a lot of damage,” Soriano said.

A few weeks after the accident, Soriano received a call from a local organization wanting to help. Keep Local Alive Omaha is a new organization that focuses on putting money back into the community.

“We really wanted a spot where locally owned businesses could connect with local consumers. Give it a platform where they could come together and support each other with the idea being that people want to support locally owned businesses, they just don’t know where to find them,” Bobby Johnson, the co-founder of Keep Local Alive Omaha, said.

The group was starting a new fundraiser, which they say is their version of a flash mob. Move 20 Mob urges residents in the area to shop local to keep their money in their own backyards.

“We're asking folks to take $20 that they would normally spend in a chain restaurant or in a big box store and shift that money over to a locally owned business,” Johnson said.

The organization decided on Hartland after it was suggested by their Facebook group members.

“As we started to get some responses, Hartland came up a whole bunch of times,” Johnson said.

Community members can spend the money a few different ways. They can order take out, purchase a gift certificate or donate to the restaurant’s GoFundMe. Johnson says if you can’t get out to the restaurant a social media follow or like can also help.

Soriano says she’s thankful for Keep Local Alive Omaha and all those who have been showing support in these hard times.

“After all that’s happened, you can see who’s truly here for us. We truly do have really good customers,” Soriano said.