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Jessie Jean's Cafe
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Jessie Jean’s Cafe In Ogden Steps Up During Government Shutdown

OGDEN, Utah — For thousands of people, 2019 started off with a bank account full of worry.  It forced a lot of families in Utah to pinch every penny. That’s when Jessie Jean’s Cafe on historic 25th Street in Ogden stepped in.

“I just feel like it’s what we should do to help each other everyday,” said cafe owner Anna Whitnack-Davidson. “I feel like we loose sight of what’s most important, and what’s most important is being kind to each other, helping.”

It’s a message many of us try to live up to, but one business owner is doing all she can to make it a way of life.

“I just started ripping open my cupboards, thinking what can we make these guys that’s a good meal,” she said.

During the long month of the shutdown, they gave out more than 800 meals.

Several donations started trickling in to offset the cost of all the food.

“People were just showing up and messaging me,” she said, “so we just made until we didn’t have anymore food that day.”

On top of it all, Anna said her business lost roughly $10,000 in revenue, with the cafe being so close to several large government businesses.

“What you’ve been doing for the government workers and your staff is just full of love and light,” said Dominique Dietz, who nominated Anna and her cafe for a KSL High 5. “We are just so happy to have you in our city and thankful for your goodness.”

The Ogdenite heard about Jessie Jean’s and started following the cafe on social media. That’s when she quickly realized everything being done to help those in the neighborhood.

“It touched my heart,” she said.

That’s only a part of it. Anna and her husband make it a goal to help anyone they can — including the homeless.

“He’s taken Martin — that’s what we call him, we don’t know his name — he’s taken him on to find out what his story is and help him,” Anna said.

They’re supplying warm meals, clean clothes and getting “Martin” in touch with some resources to get him back on his feet.

“Someone told us we shouldn’t let the homeless in here,” she said. “And I was like, ‘I’ll be damned, I’m not going to turn my back on anyone.'”

Her motivation for it all?

“I want to get to the end of my life and say I did everything I could to be a good person and I can die knowing that.”

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