Good Deeds from and for local businesses

Claudia Loucks
Employees at Geneseo Fareway Grocery were treated to lunch on Oct. 23 by Bethany Winkleman, State Farm Insurance Agent; and Adam Minard, owner of Sweet Peas Grill & Bar. In the lunch line, in front left, Bill Lanphere, Fareway manager; and cashier Nikki Swift, being served by Minard and Winkleman. Photo by Claudia Loucks

“Good Deeds” is the motto at the Bethany Winkleman State Farm Agency in Geneseo and Winkleman and her office staff, along with Adam Minard, owner of Sweet Peas Grill & Bar in Geneseo, has been involved in numerous acts of kindness.

Winkleman and Minard partnered to provide lunch for the Geneseo Fareway Grocery Store team as a “thank you” for their service to the community.

That recent “good deed” is the second time Winkleman and Minard have worked together to serve lunch to the team of workers at Fareway…and Winkleman said, “In July Adam (Minard) and I decided to partner to serve lunch to the team at Fareway as a thank you from the community for all they do.”

Fareway is one of the largest employers in Geneseo and during this shutdown-pandemic, Winkleman said, and cited how “the staff at Fareway continues to work hard as essential workers.”

In the midst of the current pandemic, Winkleman found herself wanting to give back to the local essential workers and she said, “Every weekend when our family buys groceries at Fareway we are so incredibly appreciative. Every team member there is so wonderful, thoughtful and courteous.”

Winkleman’s comment made me think about the difficulty of those Fareway team members being able to remain “kind and courteous” when some shoppers probably are not as “kind and courteous” when they shop wearing face masks and are asked to practice social distancing.

She asked Minard at Sweet Peas if he and his team would help her staff in “giving back.”

“Adam was in right away and we decided to serve lunch to the Fareway staff on July 10 to thank them for all of their hard work. It was amazing and we decided we wanted to do it again to thank them for everything.”

That second lunch at Fareway was served Friday, Oct. 23.

Minard said, “We had another great time today providing a much-deserved lunch to staff at Fareway…It is very rewarding for me to provide food for people outside of the restaurant and within their setting. I enjoy being able to provide good food and service to the entire community and beyond….It is nice to give back to a local business that shares many of the same values as we do at Sweet Peas.”

“We know serving lunch at Fareway is appreciated by their team as Bill (Lanphere) is always very helpful and thankful for the time we spend there,” Minard said. “I’m blessed

and thankful for being in this small wonderful community that accepts and appreciates our ‘good deeds’!”

Winkleman believes “every day is an opportunity to make a difference by doing something good for someone else,” she said. “We call them ‘good deeds’ at our agency. We try to take every opportunity to provide that memorable experience with every in-touch with clients, community members, family, and everyone we come in contact with.”

Winkleman is the daughter of Linda and the late Dr. Roger Pray and she said her parents instilled in her and her sister and brothers to be “generous, thoughtful and selfless.”

“After opening the business (State Farm Agency) in 2018, we have enjoyed supporting local businesses and the local communities,” she said. “When the pandemic hit this year we immediately felt the need to go into action.”

The “team” at State Farm includes Christina Wentz, office manager, Sandy Williamson, Jacci Albrecht and Allison Goodwin.

Winkleman and her office manager brainstormed ideas in which their office could make a difference, and she said, “I thought what if we supported over 20 local businesses and helped to create a positive impact to our town. We did our best to contact local businesses and started an ‘act of kindness’ challenge on social media. This was not tied to anything with insurance, but more an effort to do something that would impact our local area and be a positive outreach.”

The State Farm team held weekly contests-drawings and Winkleman said, “They were fun and made people smile during a tough time. They ranged from quarantine activities, quarantine haircuts, senior pictures, Celebrate a Nurse Week and pictures of some fashion trends form the past.”

The State Farm Agency also supports local 501c3’s and when someone contacts the agency for a quote during a certain time frame, a donation is made to a local charity. The Agency has done this for the last two years, Winkleman said…”We have been able to support Foster Hope, Dress for Success, Braveheart, Geneseo Family & Marriage Counseling, Brantley Francis Foundation and the Geneseo Park District Foundation…We will continue to do random acts of kindness for the community and expand our efforts…Good Deeds…Good Deeds!”