Surviving During COVID-19: Renee’s Crêpes and Cakes

Crêpes, the French street-food staple, are an easy and delicious way to satisfy sweet and savory cravings with countless filling options. Irene Psaras brought crêpes to Fredericksburg when she and her husband Frankie opened Renee’s Crêpes and Cakes in the Eagle Village Shopping Center in 2015. The eatery attracts Fredericksburg residents and tourists who enjoy the wide variety of lunch, dinner, and dessert crêpes served up by Irene and Frankie.

The restaurant has been so well received that the couple was considering opening a second location in Richmond earlier this year. COVID-19 put a halt to those plans and threatened the viability of Renee’s Crêpes and Cakes. Irene recalled how the pandemic impacted their business: “First [UMW] shutdown, then offices and there were no visitors traveling through Fredericksburg. We were doing just carry out, Grubhub and curbside.”

Owners of Renee's Crêpes and Cakes

A few weeks into the pandemic, with dwindling customer orders, Irene and Frankie realized they would need outside capital to meet their obligations. They turned to the UMW SBDC for assistance in identifying and applying for CARES Act loans and local grants. The business was approved for the PPP loan, which covered the rent for three months. They were awarded a grant from the City of Fredericksburg, which kept them afloat until Renee’s Crêpes and Cakes could re-open for social distance dining. “The grant helped us stay open, and our business is rising again with students coming back to town.”

If you’re a small business owner struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 or other business challenges, the UMW SBDC is here to help.

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