One word sums up LaKenta and Atisha Summerfield’s feelings for their community: thankfulness.

The Summerfields own and operate Fingers 2 Tha Bone BBQ on Wyatt Street – and credit their customers and God for keeping the doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fingers 2 Tha Bone BBQ opened up for business in September after relocating its operations from Dallas. The restaurant’s dedication to customer service alongside of its fresh and tasty food quickly developed a strong following in the community.

Before the novel coronavirus came around, the Summerfields were building a clientele base with more people coming into the restaurant every day. The virus’ impact saw an overnight drop in business of around 25 people waiting in line for barbeque one day to only two people the next day. Over time, however, customers began going back to the restaurant for to-go orders – and they’ve continued to show their support.

“It hit our business hard but, at the same time, we have such a strong, great customer relationship that they started pouring in on their own and started to help us to the best of their abilities,” Atisha said. “They will reach out to us on Facebook and let us know they are coming in, saying, ‘We are going to support you guys.’

“That community support means a lot to us and has been so wonderful,” she said. “It made us feel good. We are grateful and thankful because it has been keeping us afloat.”

LaKenta shares his wife’s feelings about the community support but noted there have been times the governor’s regulations have made it even tougher to operate.

“Our business is so small and they have limited it to 10 people that can come in at one time,” he said. “The staff that is here totals six. So, only four people can come in and the other people we have to tell them that they can’t come in yet. At the same time, the phone is ringing.

“We are trying to take care of both groups and the walk-ins are getting frustrated,” LaKenta said. “This place means everything. We put our last pennies into this store. We are making enough to pay

the bills and keep afloat but it is right up to the nose. By the grace of God, we are not under like some places.”

Since the pandemic, Fingers 2 Tha Bone BBQ has been operating as a to-go restaurant and has had to close its dining room for the time being. The six staff members, which include the Summerfields, have all taken a pay cut to make ends meet. The restaurant applied for a payroll protection loan but was unsuccessful in obtaining one.

While they did not receive a small business loan, “the community’s support and God’s intervention” has kept them going both financially and personally, LaKenta said, adding that he continues to support other small businesses in the community daily and wants to encourage others to do so as well.

“Please continue to support small businesses because small businesses matter,” he said.

All of the food served up is made fresh daily at Fingers 2 Tha Bone BBQ, whose signature dish is its Truth Baked Potato, which comes with three meats. The restaurant also serves up chopped beef brisket, links, summer sausage and turkey breast. The meats are used in sandwiches or can be purchased by the pound.

Fingers 2 Tha Bone BBQ is open from noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. It is located at 505 Wyatt St. in Waxahachie.

For more information, visit the restaurant’s Facebook Page, Fingers 2 Tha Bone BBQ. To place an order, call 469-399-1203. The restaurant is also available for catering.

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