The ‘Beauxjax wives’ feed frontline workers, build wells during pandemic

More than $16,000 in donations translated into hundreds of hot meals to health care workers, EMS, firefighters and police and hundreds of thank you notes in return.
Beauxjax wives
Beauxjax wives(Brittney Reeve)
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 8:23 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - As COVID-19 spread across the ArkLaTex, prompting shutdowns, shuttering many businesses, including restaurants; two women worked as a team to come up with a way to save their restaurant and support their health care community at the same time.

Haylie Hays and Brittney Reeve are the wives of the co-owners of Beauxjax Crafthouse in Bossier City’s East Bank District.

“I like to call us the BeauxJax wives,” Brittney said.

The Crafthouse has been a staple in the East Bank for years, but its future was hazy when it became clear COVID-19 would close its doors.

“We can’t move forward,” Haylie said. “We just prayed over everyone. There was nothing else you could do at that point.”

The pair went from spending most of their time behind the scenes at the restaurant until the pandemic hit where they took on a more pivotal role.

“We were all just kind of sitting at the bar one day, thinking through things, talking stuff out. It just hit our hearts like there’s so many people struggling right now, including us and businesses, but what about the hospitals and the nurses?” Brittany said. “They are flooded. We were trying to figure out: how can we help? How can we create opportunities for our employees and give back to all of our local heroes? That’s how Feed the Frontlines came about.”

They started feeding the frontline in droves, with Brittany handwriting little slips of paper with hospitals and clinics.

“Every floor, every unit. Pretty much everything, every fire station, every police station,” Brittany said. “I just wrote them down and we put them in a little wheel and every time we got enough money to send a platter, we would draw a name and then we would go to that place, and we would drop them off so we literally went everywhere.”

More than $16,000 in donations translated into hundreds of hot meals to health care workers, EMS, firefighters and police and hundreds of thank you notes in return.

“Literally all of the money that came in, we sent every bit of that food out. But it was great for our staff. It gave us an opportunity to have staff again. To pay them to work in the kitchen. It brought us business and it gave to them. “It was heartwarming. Everyone was so moved. Honestly, a lot of people were frustrated during that time. They were scared, frustrated, tired, overworked, exhausted. When you come in with food and a smile. Food speaks to the heart, man. Especially that Cajun food.”

Their kind and generous hearts were challenged again after a sermon at church one Sunday.

“We decided it broke our hearts enough to do something about it,” Hays said.

The two embraced a calling to establish Simply Projects Louisiana, a non-profit that provides clean water wells for communities in Honduras.

“We came up with this grand idea to walk 118 miles in three days to raise money to drill a water well.”

The idea of walking 118 miles was generated after the pair realized families in Honduras travel around 5 miles a day to get water, which they said was not clean water and filled with disease.

From frontline food to funding a well, what could’ve been the end of their livelihood during the pandemic was the beginning of a bigger blessing.

“It was a really hard two years but being able to see the Lord’s hand over every single bit of it, it moves me to tears. To see his provision when we thought wow this is the worst, we’re not going to be able to make it, we’re not going to be able to come out on the other side, we’ve worked so hard for so long and sacrificed so much. We’re going to lose it all. For it to come full circle and be every bit of a blessing. And then come out even further ahead than what we were.”

Brittany and Haylie will be doing their 118-mile walk to raise funds for more wells this November. They said their goal is at least $50,000 which is what they raised last year. So far they’ve built more than three wells and counting.

This Women’s History Month KSLA is celebrating women who have made history in our community amid a deadly war against COVID-19.

Copyright 2022 KSLA. All rights reserved.