SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – On any given day, River Street Sweets is one of the most popular places in downtown Savannah, and pralines are among the most sought-after items.
“They are our signature item,” said Kelley Cale with River Street Sweets. “We’ve been making them for almost 50 years on a marble slab. The community loves them.”
On a Friday in June, the community’s love for the recipe helped a key nonprofit feed thousands.
“They are so unbelievable to our community,” said Mary Jane Crouch, executive director of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, about the candy store’s support.
In honor of National Praline Day, River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen and their franchisees donated 10 percent of praline sales on June 24 to Second Harvest’s Kids Cafe. They donated the same portion of online sales through June 26.
“This is their fifth year of providing assistance with the program, which is an after-school program and a summer program that provides nutritious meals to children at risk for hunger in our community,” Crouch explained.
This summer, the Kids Cafe is providing 7,000 meals per weekday at various locations.
“I cannot begin to tell you how important community partners are like this,” Crouch said. “Being able to know that people in the community support what you do, knowing that they know what you do and they care.”
River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen made the fundraiser a little sweeter this year in honor of Stan Strickland, the co-founder who died this year. For the whole month of June, the stores collected additional donations in jars at the cash registers and offered entry into a praline raffle as an incentive to give.
“(Stan) was the heart of soul of this organization, and you can see how much they’ve grown,” said Crouch, “and that was through his knowledge and his caring about his employees, his staff and the community as a whole.”
“I think people want to help people who help other people,” she continued, “and he truly always wanted to help everyone.”
That legacy of giving lives on — just like the family recipes.
“Last year, we were able to donate 35,000 meals for the kids,” Cale said. “So our goal this year is 50,000, and I think we’ll totally beat that.”
We’re still waiting for this year’s final tally.