Beloved cafe owner battling COVID has one message: ‘support local businesses now’

Co-owner of Auction House Cafe in Wayland contracts COVID and hopes community will support her by supporting all local businesses
Posted at 7:26 PM, Dec 01, 2020

WAYLAND, Mich. — Kim Powers has one message for people during the latest temporary restrictions: please shop local.

“I encourage everybody to support local businesses right now. Local businesses are struggling,” Powers said during a Zoom interview with Fox 17 on Tuesday. “These past two weeks of takeout for restaurants have been very different from the last takeout times.”

Powers co-owns the Auction House Cafe with her sister. She said it was scary to close the business once again due to the temporary restrictions put in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. However, they had to do it.

A week later, Powers was in the hospital at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids.

“I experienced a [transient ischemic attack or TIA] on Sunday afternoon and went into the emergency room, and they wanted to admit me to the hospital,” Powers recalled. “So, I needed to have a COVID test done for that and it was positive.”

Powers has diabetes and said a TIA is also known as a mini-stroke. So, she stayed in the hospital one night and was released the next day.

“It was lonely,” Powers said with a chuckle, thinking of her time at Mercy. “You’re not allowed out of your room. They don’t come into your room unless they necessarily have to.”

Powers was home Monday night and is now taking care of her husband Kevin who tested positive for COVID before she did. He had a fever of 102.7 the night before Thanksgiving, he said, and since then he's felt everything from feeling fine to having a stuffed and runny nose.

“I feel energetic a little bit,” Kevin said while standing next to Powers. “It’s more like being in a hurricane. You start out like you get hit. All of sudden you’re in the eye of the storm and you feel a little bit better and stuff. And, all of sudden you’re getting hit again at the end of the storm.”

They’re both quarantining and Powers said the one thing that’s been helpful is the outpouring of support they’ve received from the community. They’ve been contributing to a GoFundMe page set up by a loved one.

However, Powers advises everyone to follow CDC guidelines: wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

Her other piece of advice: shop local.

“Business is very slow right now,” Powers said. “And if we want to keep these businesses going we need to support them. Its just no ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

***NOTE: If you’d like to make a contribution to the GoFundMe page, click here***