CARIBOU, Maine — Members of the Caribou community and beyond are showing strong support for Burger Boy, an iconic restaurant in the city well known for its ice cream, lobster rolls and its 1950s and ‘60s aesthetic.
The business is steadily recovering from losses caused by a Center for Disease Control alert indicating that an employee at the restaurant was carrying the Hepatitis A virus. Even though no other employees or customers have since contracted the illness and nearly 1,000 vaccinations have been given by local clinics, the business experienced a major financial loss. As a result, restaurant owner Spenser Ouellette was forced to cut nearly 100 hours of his employees’ work time last week.
Since this announcement, however, the community has shown strong support for the restaurant and Ouellette has indicated that while things are not quite back to normal, every day the eatery is seeing a steady increase in numbers of customers.
Additionally, a fundraiser started by members of the business Extreme Granite in Presque Isle has raised more than $1,000 to help the restaurant recoup losses suffered in the past two weeks. The fundraiser, which can be found online at gofundme.com/i-support-burger-boy, remains active as their goal is to ultimately raise $10,000 for the restaurant.
As of Friday afternoon, $1,075 has been raised to help Burger Boy.
A write-up created by members of Extreme Granite states that the page was created to “help offset the devastation to a local man’s business that is suffering from a situation that was beyond his control.”
“Any donation will help him offset the costs of the aftermath of this unfortunate situation in the coming weeks/months,” the page reads. “Burger Boy is a staple to the Caribou community and it would be a shame to see it struggle or go away altogether due to a situation beyond their control that has been blown up on social media.”
The fundraising page, since it was created on May 22, has been shared nearly 1,000 times via social media.
Spenser said he is “very grateful” for all the donations made to help his business and also urges those who’d like to help to “keep filling up the parking lot.”
“The biggest thing is to just keep supporting us. Every little bit helps,” he said. “Shop local, and eat local. Any little effort will help us in the long run.”
While the recent three-day weekend had a strong turnout, with a good turnout “even compared to last year,” Ouellette said he’s looking forward to more sunshine and warmer temperatures as a motivator to bring out more customers.
“That will help us out a little bit more,” he said, concluding that he’s trying to “keep positive,” and to continue to “keep doing what we do best by serving customers as best as we can.”