Barneveld café nixes menu prices to help those struggling during COVID-19

BARNEVELD, Wis. (WMTV)-- As businesses struggle during the coronavirus outbreak, a café in Barneveld is throwing profits out the door to help the community.

Cliff "Cooks" cafe in Barneveld. (George Balekji/WMTV)

Off US HWY 151, Cliff “Cooks” is offering take-out while dining in is no longer optional during Gov. Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” order.

“These are not normal times," said café owner Clifford Hooks.

Their menu ranges from breakfast to lunch items, but it’s the price that is making a mark on the community.

"It took not normal actions of throw the prices away,” said Hooks. “If somebody can afford that's great, if they can't well that's fine too, they still gotta eat."

Cliff and his wife Yvonne threw away prices off their menu so those struggling with unemployment and unable to make ends meet can still get a warm meal.

"We cannot do this by ourselves, we can only do it with other people's support,” said Yvonne Hooks.
Their customers responded by making donations to keep the café’s doors open, and the Hooks have opened their hearts and are taking the rest of the donations to cover anything a family may need to get through tough times.

“Taking care of people is a lot more fun than worrying about profit and loss and marketing and... no this is, this is fun,” said Clifford.

"Couple weeks ago I think everybody was hating everybody else. For no particular reason let's just hate everything,” added Yvonne. “All of a sudden, it's just a little bit kinder. A little bit more loving. A little bit more caring. And that's not a bad thing to be."

The Hooks have been volunteering their hours for the past couple of weeks. They are hoping to change from an LLC to a nonprofit and start the Barneveld Community Café UA.