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

Feb 15, 2019, 6:49 AM | Updated: 10:55 am

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.”

KSL 5 TV Live

High 5

(KSL TV)...

Dan Spindle, KSL TV

HIGH 5: Utah Group Packs Thousands Of Bags To Feed Kids Through Summer Months

There are Utah children who won't go hungry thanks to some caring volunteers with USANA Kids Eat.

2 years ago

Chris Schunk is a special education teacher at Snowcrest Junior High School. (KSL TV)...

Haley Smith, Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

High 5: Special Ed Teacher Treats Students As People First

Students and parents at Snowcrest Junior High couldn’t imagine a day without special education teacher Chris Schunk as they navigated the highs and lows of the last school year in the middle of the pandemic.  

3 years ago

Crossing Guard Verl Creager makes sure to wave at every car, every day. (KSL TV)...

Haley Smith & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Crossing Guard’s Kind Gesture Brightens Community

Verl Creager is the school crossing guard at Valley Elementary School. Many don't know his name, but they know who he is because of a simple gesture. He makes sure to wave at every car that passes by.

3 years ago

Photo provided by Sticky Chicken...

Dan Spindle & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Cooking Up Life Lessons That Stick At Sticky Bird

Sticky Bird in Farmington seems like any other fast, casual chicken restaurant, but what happens behind the scenes is the real recipe for a better life. 

3 years ago

(KSL TV)...

Shara Park, KSL TV

High 5: Utahns Step Up To Help Clear The Snow

During the recent winter storms, countless Utahns stepped up to help both neighbors and strangers clear snow.

3 years ago


Grant Weyman & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Grant Elementary Grateful For Attentive Principal

At Grant Elementary School in Murray, there are some very grateful people who appreciate their principal. 

3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

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