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Connecticut News


Local Restaurant Owners Fuel Crews with Homemade Meals During Storm Restoration

Feb 15, 2022


After a major storm hits and there’s damage to the electric system, it’s all-hands-on-deck for Eversource employees. Every employee has a storm role—including line crews, logistics personnel, customer services representatives, and safety specialists. Restoration can last days, and crews often work around the clock to get the power back on for customers.

Laura Conley and Trang Tran

Also playing a critical role in supporting restoration efforts are local businesses like Sweet Harmony Café and Bakery. At a moment’s notice, these businesses are called on to help serve meals to Eversource and out-of-state crews. Co-owners and sisters Laura Conley and Trang Tran have become accustomed to watching the weather, and they’re always at the ready to keep the team’s energy up and spirits lifted.

“They’re always great to work with,” said Christa Simmons, a member of Eversource’s procurement team. And with a menu consisting of everything from omelets, to sandwiches, salads, and a famous mac ‘n cheese recipe—"the food is always made with love and care. I see Laura as a modern-day version of the culinary ambassador Edna Lewis.”

Outside view of Sweet Harmony Cafe & Bakery

In 2021 alone, local vendors like Sweet Harmony Café and Bakery worked closely with Eversource during storms to provide nearly 72,000 meals for employees working in Connecticut. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were delivered to work centers, staging sites, offices, and hotels where crews were staying across the state. As a small business owner, Conley said working with Eversource has been beneficial—especially as they have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our partnership with Eversource helped us to weather the decrease in traffic to our shop during the pandemic, and we’ve learned a lot from serving the employees morning and night during these storm situations,” she added. “It’s challenged us but also made us grow as a business.”

“During these unprecedented times, it’s critical that we support diverse businesses,” said Eversource’s Simmons. “When diverse businesses are given an opportunity like here at Eversource, it enables them to expand and more importantly, make an impact on the community.”

When it comes down to it, cooking and baking is more than just a career for Conley and Tran. It continues to be their “gateway to smiles” and helping others.

“I mean, I don’t want to be up there in those buckets fixing the power,” Conley said laughing. “If they have the courage to do that in all kinds of weather, then the least I can do is make sure they’re fed a good, warm meal.”