Community members in Fayette County come together to support one local business

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FAYETTEVILLE,WV (WVNS) — Just a few weeks ago, the popular Fayetteville restaurant, Secret Sandwich Society, caught on fire. Friends and family gathered at Cantrells in Fayetteville to host a fundraiser to help raise money.

“It’s a fundraiser event for the secret sandwich society, the owner and all of his employees. He had at least 20 plus employees. This is all for him and all people who came together. And it started the morning of the fire,” Event Host, Kristen Cantrell, stated.

People came out to listen to a live band and grab some food and drink. Artists were even there to sell some of their paintings. Organizers said they planned on hosting this event since the morning of the fire.

“It started the morning of the fire, we got some many messages to do something it snowballed it was out of control. It was event that was going to happen even no matter if I organized it or not,” Event Organizer, Gary Vaughan, said.

Society Sandwich Society Owner Lewis Rhienhart said all the money raised during the fundraiser will go towards the staff of the restaurant.

“All of this, all of these fundraisers, the GoFundMe, these fundraisers right now they are going to the staff. Once we get a final number i’m just going to divide it evenly through the staff,” Rhienhart stated.

Lewis said he is thankful for all of the support he received. Many big names like Gov. Jim Justice, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, and Senator Joe Manchin all reached out to Rhinehart for their support.

“Hey Lewis, this is Joe Manchin, and I am so sorry. I just heard about your horrible fire, I can tell you as a business person I’ve been through it. My own family business we lost everything we had one time in a fire and it’s just very very difficult but Lewis if there is anything we can do, anything, my office or I can do to help. Don’t you hesitate to contact us ok?” Senator Joe Manchin said to Rhienhart in a voicemail.

Rhinehart said this fire is not the end of Secret Sandwich Society.

“We don’t quit, and this staff, these guys, we made it through COVID, and we are doing some of the best numbers we have done this year and this is just one more bump in the road,” Rhienhart continued.

With the help and support of the community Lewis said he hopes to have something in the works by spring.

Rhienhart said he doesn’t plan on quitting. He also said they exceeded their goal and raised more than twenty thousand dollars so far. He plans to rebuild the restaurant and hopes to open a food truck with a limited menu sometime in the spring.

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