WAYNE – Folks driving along Pearl and Second Streets may have noticed a small box-like structure outside Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company. Those who attended Friday morning Chamber Coffee or viewed ChamberPercs on the Wayne, NE Facebook page found out the reasoning on the ‘Byrd’ House and what is in it.
A week after the Chicken Show Committee and the office of Wayne Area Economic Development hosted the first in-person chamber event in months, Johnnie Byrd was next on the list.
The brewery is coming up on their three-year anniversary this December as owner Greg Ptacek said they’ve been blessed to be in Wayne.
“We’ve been super excited to just do what we came here to do,” said Ptacek. “The support that we’ve had from Wayne has been amazing. We’ve been welcomed with wide open arms from the community.”
Friday also featured a ribbon cutting event for the ‘Byrd’ House. Ptacek explained the ‘Byrd’ House is a mini food pantry as it was Kelly Ptacek’s idea.
“In Easter we decided to some meals for the Back Pack family here at the Wayne Community Schools,” Ptacek added. “So, that was a big success and we had a lot of people reach out saying ‘how can we help?’. We thought we could be that mobilizing force to get a lot of change out there and a lot of good things going for people.”
Shelf-stable items are welcome along with toiletries, no bread in the summer time and no homemade items. If it can stay at your pantry at home it can stay in the ‘Byrd’ House as it is also vented and will be heated in the winter.
Ptacek added there are no income guidelines and they want to encourage everyone to also take from it.
“Even if you don’t think that you fall in those income guidelines or you think you don’t fall into food-insecurity,” Ptacek mentioned. “Come grab a box of mac n cheese, come grab a sucker. We want to have as many people as we can taking form this as well as giving.”
During the COVID break, Greg built the ‘Byrd’ House every couple of days and overbuilt it to withstand the high winds in Wayne and make sure it was built correctly.
The next Friday morning Chamber Coffee/ChamberPercs host will be W.W. Galore on July 24 at 10 a.m.