By Rubin E. Grant
The owners of Ted’s Restaurant on Southside were more than a little distraught when they received the order that they could serve only curbside meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But for nearly a month, they have found a rewarding way to keep their wits about them while continuing to serve food.
“We have been fortunate to take part in UAB Meals for Heroes Fund,” said Tasos Touloupis, who co-owns Ted’s with his wife, Beba. “We have raised over $12,000 for Ted’s to provide meals to UAB health care workers.”
“We’ve probably fed close to 900 workers in the past month,” Beba Touloupis added.
“We’re going to feed at least 115 next week so we’ll be over 1,000 (in April). I think that’s wonderful.”
Since April 1, UAB’s Meals for Heroes program has provided food to thousands of UAB health care workers at multiple UAB hospitals and the remote COVID-19 testing site.
Organized by the UAB Food Services staff, Meals for Heroes is placing orders with local restaurants and caterers in an effort to help its community partners.
Ted’s is still accepting donations for the campaign. Donations also can be made at: uab.edu/fightcovid19/give/meals-for-heroes.
Steve Marmurek of the Vestavia Hills Rotary Club said the club will donate $1,680 to Ted’s for the campaign.
“Ted’s has been the caterer we’ve used for regular meetings,” Marmurek said. “I asked Tasos what assistance we could provide to help them get back up and running and he mentioned the Meals for Heroes.
“Ted’s is an icon down there, only two blocks from UAB. They’re in a wonderful location to provide those type of meals.”
Ted’s isn’t the only beneficiary of the Vestavia Hills Rotary Club fundraising. Marmurek said the group also will donate $1,680 to first responders in Vestavia Hills.
Tasos and Beba Touloupis live in Vestavia Hills. They have owned Ted’s for 20 years, but Beba said this is the first time they have had to take such drastic measures.
Ted’s has discontinued serving breakfast until further notice and offers a limited daily menu. The menu is posted on Facebook and Instragram. In addition to the curbside pickup, Ted’s is offering free delivery for five or more boxes of meals.
Customers can call Ted’s at 205-324-3911 or order online.
“This is a life-changing experience,” Beba Touloupis said. “The whole world feels this. It’s affecting every facet of our society. We’ve just got to keep going and find a way to survive.
“We hope next month we’ll be able to open, but we don’t know how we’re going to do that. It’s going to be a new normal.”
In the meantime, Ted’s will continue to provide meals for heroes.
“It’s very satisfying to bring some of our workers back to feed the frontline medical workers,” Beba Touloupis said. “The frontline workers work long hours and we feel if we can feed them just a hot meal, then it’s worth it.”