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Between Covid precautions, supply chain issues, and staff shortages, it’s been a tough two years for restaurant owners and employees.
But it’s the season of giving, and MJ’s Eatery in Houghton Lake is giving something extra special to their staff.
“I’ve worked a lot of different places, I’ve worked in big corporate, but never, ever met people that were as just good as them,” said MJ’s server Theresa Boggs
Boggs has been a server at MJ’s Eatery in Houghton Lake for three years.
She says working there is like working with family.
“You can’t pick your family, but if you could, I’d pick every single person here,” she said.
Owner Josie Stockman says they’re more like family than employees.
“We’re a really close family,” said Stockman. “We all hang out with each other’s families.”
In the spirit of the holiday season, along with the stressful years restaurants have been through during Covid, the Stockmans wanted to do something big for the special people in their life.
“My husband and I were just kind of like throwing around the idea of doing something for our employees,” said Stockamn. “We thought it’d be a great idea to be able to take them and their families to Florida and kind of relax and recharge.”
When employees heard of the Stockmans’ plan back in February, they were so excited.
“I think all of us were thrilled, but not necessarily surprised, because this is just the kind of people they are,” said Boggs. “They’re so giving.”
Stockman says they rented a house for all 24 people coming on the trip, and already have a few things planned on their itinerary.
“We’re probably going to do some golfing,” said Stockman. “We’re planning a family dinner with everyone, and then we’re all just going to hang out at the pool and relax.”
Boggs says she’s overwhelmed with her friends’ generosity.
“It has not been an easy year, and for them to appreciate us like this and do something like this, it just speaks volumes as to the kind of people that they are,” she said.
But Stockman says they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s honestly the least we could do for them,” said Stockman. “With them sticking through it with everything, all the ups and downs, it’s just a complete blessing, and we’re just so excited we could do this for them.”