VIDOR, Texas — A longtime restaurant in Southeast Texas is shutting down its doors.
The Red Wagon Café in Vidor is closing Sunday, April 2, 2023, after 15 years in business.
Owners Sherry and David Mills took to Facebook to announce the closure and reminisce on the long, eventful years they spent serving the community.
"We have met some truly awesome people and made friends for a lifetime and I'm sure we still be seeing a lot of you," Sherry Mills said in the post.
Sherry Mills says although they have survived three hurricanes, a tornado and the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising food costs is what ultimately would take down their business.
"Food cost is out of control, some of our prices have doubled and tripled and to make a profit no one would be here anyway," Sherry Mills said.
As they serve the next few weeks, Sherry Mills wants to remind patrons that they will be running out of food items as they try to sell down stock before the closure.
In the post, Sherry Mills thanked her past and present employees, who she says, have become a family.
"Thank you for sticking around to see us out you are a true blessing to us and we will always be here for you any way we can," Sherry Mills said.
Sherry Mills also thanked the community for allowing the Mills to serve them for 15 years.
"It has been a pleasure. Many of you know the struggles we have had here and we tried our best to handle them gracefully. It's just time to say done," she said.
Sherry Mills used this announcement to encourage Southeast Texans to support mom-and-pop small businesses.
"They do not get the breaks the big chains get. They are struggling to hold on with no end in sight. Please keep them in your prayers for success, they will definitely be in ours," Sherry Mills said.
Thanksgiving is a special time for most people, with giving being the highlight.
For Sherry and David Mills, that was the case when they started feeding their community free Thanksgiving dinner 12 years ago.
"We started for people who had no family here to celebrate with or families that could not afford to make a traditional thanksgiving meal,” Sherry Mills previously told 12News.
Originally the traditional meal was served buffet style, allowing guests to serve themselves. The Mills wanted their guests to feel as if they were at home with family.
“I was raised to know that no matter how bad you think life is somebody has it worse, so instead of feeling sorry for yourself be a blessing to someone who needs just a little more than you,” said Sherry Mills.
There are no waitresses to serve the Thanksgiving feast at the Red Wagon Café, only volunteers.
The Mills say they have been blessed to have good friends and family who join them each year, volunteering to help them, help others.
Red Wagon Cafe in Vidor gives out Thanksgiving meals to the homeless
John Hernandez with Sysco has volunteered every year since the café started their tradition and Barry Magraw gets volunteers to help distribute the meals to those in need.
Unfortunately, during COVID-19, the Red Wagon Café was unable to serve dinner indoors, but they still managed to give back to their community.
Instead of hosting the feast at the Red Wagon Café, they started preparing 100 plates a year for the homeless or seniors at home.
"You just never know, you might be that ray of hope someone needs," said Sherry Mills said.