The owners of a beloved Okotoks restaurant have received a flood of support after announcing they'd be closing their doors.
Jarod and Michelle Traxel, owners of Little Fast + Fresh, announced the restaurant would be closing in Early February via Facebook over the weekend.
Little Fast + Fresh opened in 2018 and made a name for themselves very quickly, including winning New Business of the Year at the Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce's Business Excellence Awards.
They cited a number of factors for their closure, including the rising cost of utilities, food, and rent were among the reasons they cited, as well as Michelle's medical condition that emerged in November of 2021.
The post was met with hundreds of comments and reactions from locals thanking them for their five-year impact on the community and wishing them the best.
Like many Okotokians, Reta Lewans got to know Jarod and Michelle as she frequented the restaurant, where a friendship eventually blossomed.
"They're genuine, kind, funny, just super cool people... Everybody loves them, it's devastating. We're going to have a huge hole in our community from them being gone."
When she learned about the restaurant's closure, she immediately started looking for a way for the community to give back to them.
"I really wanted to help them in a practical way. I mean, I can buy their food all day long, but eventually, that's going to close, and they need something that's going to carry them through this whole medical journey that Michelle is on... I asked if they had a GoFundMe or any kind of funding to help them out because it's not just the business, it's the medical part that's so expensive and daunting."
She set a goal of $5000, which was very quickly surpassed.
In just two days, it exceeded $10,000.
The response didn't come as a shock to Lewan, who knew the community would want to give back to the Traxels.