Tennessee bakery with special needs employees gets sweet boost from Barstool Fund

PARIS, Tenn. — A bakery in northwest Tennessee that employs 28 special needs adults received some sweet news that will help the business meet payroll and tax obligations this week.

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Sweet Jordan’s Bakery and Cafe in Paris, owned by Brad and Tommie St. John, received a call from Dave Portnoy of The Barstool Fund, WZTV reported. Portnoy told the couple that the Barstool Fund would cover the expenses so the business could remain afloat, the television station reported.

Barstool Sports has raised more than $26 million to help small businesses across the country, WSMV reported.

The St. John family had applied for help as their business was heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

When Tommie St. John got the call from Portnoy, she could not hide her emotions.

“I can’t talk, I’m sorry,” St. John told Portnoy. “I literally just called the bank and told them all these things are coming out, payrolls are tomorrow, taxes are tomorrow, and I don’t have enough to cover it. The bank guys said he would cover it to $5,000, but that’s all. And I’m just like, ‘OK God, I need you to show up.’”

The deadline was Friday to pay, but Portnoy was able to throw Sweet Jordan’s a much-needed financial lifeline.

“We had enough people reach out,” Portnoy said. “It really is remarkable, everything behind it. “The fact that even a business like you guys would need the help, it’s a little disheartening, but I’m glad we found you in time.”

Sweet Jordan’s is named for Jordan St. John, who has Down syndrome. His parents started the business in 2017, WZTV reported.

In addition to Jordan St. John, employees include Tammy Hall, a blind cookie maker who rolls 1-ounce cookie balls by feel. She is never wrong, the television station reported.

“I love these kids so much,” Tommie St. John said. “There’s such a forgotten community of people you know and so we just try to focus on them, and I always say God will take care of the rest.”

We are overwhelmed and so thankful! Thank you to Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy for helping us and so many other small...

Posted by Sweet Jordan's on Saturday, January 16, 2021

Jordan St. John, who was hospitalized with pneumonia last year, joke that working at the cash register is not his job.

“I’m the boss around here and I have to keep everybody in line,” Jordan St. John told WZTV in a December 2018 interview. “Sometimes I’m the boss. I am also the sheriff and the county commissioner.”

After speaking with Tommie St. John, Portnoy talked with Jordan St. John, who said that the donation has “changed my life.”

So far, 142 businesses have been helped by The Barstool Fund, WZTV reported.

Small businesses in need of financial help can submit applications to The Barstool fund here.