21 March

Jean’s Is Singing It’s Beautiful Song

by Jon Katz

I went to Jean’s Place this morning to pick up lunch and I asked Kelsie what she thought I should photograph. Without skipping a beat, she turned to the refrigerator and came up with a gorgeous, huge, lemon pie.

This is the fourth day after Jean’s Place was shut down by the state of New York (take-out allowed and delivery), the people of Hoosick  Falls, N.Y., have decided Kelsie, Kelly and Kevin are essential.

The take-out orders are coming in, fast and furious. You can order take-out from Jean’s by calling 518 686-3258.

Kelsie says the muffins were gone in minutes this morning. It is a great lift for me and many others in this bone-rattling week to see the smile on Kelsie’s face and the focus and hard work of Kelly and Kevin in the kitchen.

Just a few days ago, they thought they were doomed. Nobody can predict the future, but the town has really come out for the restaurant and gathering place they seem to love quite a bit.

There is heartbreak, they had to lay off two wonderful waitresses who have been working at Jean’s for 24 years. And they are worried about them and eager to get them back.

Thanks to you local people for supporting Jean’s Place so enthusiastically. You brought them back from the abyss, and you lifted up a lot of people all over the country.

We are rooting for Jean’s Place and the millions of other small and independent businesses fighting to stay alive.

The big corporations will be bailed out, small businesses in a much more precarious position, and tens of millions of hourly workers – drivers, waitpersons, clerks – left with little or nothing. Nobody will make them whole.

I feel as if the fight for Jean’s Place is our fight, not just theirs. When this is over, there will be too many victims to bear, in and out of hospitals, dead and alive. We can start the healing now by reaching out to people whenever we can and letting them know they are not alone.

Jean’s Place is a miracle in the age of the mega-corporation and powerful food franchises. They tell us how much community means to people, and how endangered real community is.

Jean’s Place has a lot of friends and much good faith, but everywhere, the franchises and box stores are pushing them out. Perhaps the coronavirus will remind us how important they are.

Jean’s Place is learning that they are not alone. Thanks to everyone who is helping them.

Jean’s Place isn’t looking for handouts. They are working their asses off to survive and praying every day for their family restaurant to open again.

For a few hours last week, I feared they were doomed. But it would be a mistake to underestimate this crew.

Clearly, they are not alone.


  1. It warms my soul to see the support from your local community for Jean’s Place! May they thrive, amidst the chaos. I only wish I didn’t live 2,000 miles away…….that chocolate peanut butter pie sounds divine! Keep up the good work, Jean’s, and may you prosper in this challenging time. Sending you all a virtual hug!
    Susan M

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