BALTIMORE — Barstool Sports is known for its outside the box thinking and creative ways to deliver sports to people.
The last few weeks it’s been the acts of kindness in the form of surprise Facetime's with life changing donations for struggling businesses.
Those videos are trending on people's timelines.
WMAR-2 News went to Dundalk to talk with Jeff Carter, the owner of Dough Boy Fresh Pretzel Company.
Carter told who told us that Facetime isn’t a happy ending— it’s the start of a better beginning.
“It’s been easily the hardest year of my life,” Carter said in the video he submitted to Barstool. “Back in March we just got our building licensed after 3 years of operating as a food truck. We were a couple weeks from a grand opening. We had a full summer of events scheduled in our food truck. We started doing our wholesale line.”
Christmas morning Carter recorded the video and sent it to Barstool Sports.
Before the pandemic he was pushing the limits of his dream of running a successful business.
As he and so many other business owners explained in their videos— the pandemic tied a massive knot in everything.
“91 cents on every dollar that came in this year has gone straight to my employees,” said Carter. “I doubled my staff when things went south because we were able to operate still within the confines of the law. I employed all my friends who are service industry people. I’ve offered help to everyone and anyone I possibly could and now's the time I ask for help.”
The Barstool Fund has raised over $9 million dollars and counting.
The first $500,000 came from Barstool Sports itself.
Barstool “El Presidente” Dave Portnoy speaks to the business owners through FaceTime and lets them know he’s going to cut them a check every month for what they need to stay in business until the pandemic is over.
Jeff got that call.
“You’re in. We’ll get you all connected with Liz and get you back on your feet and get this thing going,” Portnoy said.
“Dave I can’t thank you enough,” said Carter.
With this life changing help from Barstool, he’s paying it forward.
“We’re going to continue to help, four times a week we have food trucks here,” said Carter. “We were a food truck, we know how these winters are. I have them on site here. We actually have our own donations page where it can go straight to Dundalk food trucks, that’s the program that we call it.”
There’s no three ring pretzels at Dough Boys.
But the knot created by the pandemic has been loosened a bit and Jeff can keep his families dream alive.
“I actually learned how to make dough from my grandmother. Making her polish raviolis around Christmas time. I actually have her recipe tattooed right here if you want to take a gander at that. This was the first Christmas without her.”
Barstool has helped around 40 businesses so far and is taking donations to keep helping.
Dough Boy Fresh is doing there part by creating an artist series where a local artist designs a dough boy fresh t shirt that they’ll sell with the profits going directly to artists who are hurting without festivals to display their work.