OWEGO, NY – An Owego restaurant took home the bronze in a nation-wide small business contest.
The Owego Kitchen, located on historic Lake Street, placed 3rd in the Barclays U.S. Consumer Bank Small Business Big Wins promotion.
Nearly 3,000 small businesses across all 50 states submitted essays to participate in the contest, with 10 selected as finalists who were put up for a public vote.
Owego Kitchen owners Ike and Julie Lovelass began serving free meals to those in need once the pandemic hit.
They say that to be able to compete with businesses in major cities around the country, including the winner out of Buffalo, shows how supportive the local community can be.
“One of the really cool things is, here we’re this tiny, little village of Owego. The fact that we were able to generate over 12,000 votes. The winner had 17,000. Just to be able to compete on that level, really, kind of, furthered the whole process of why we’re in Owego in the first place. The community is incredibly supportive,” they say.
For their efforts, the Owego Kitchen was awarded $15,000, which Ike and Julie say will go towards repairs at the restaurant, as well as a portion to be donated to a local charity.