What started as a joke after COVID-19 forced Danny and Laurie Kort’s catering business, Gourmet Express Events, to pause has grown into something bringing thousands of people closer while doing a world of good.
On a whim, Danny Kort, a MacGyver with his hands, crafted a picnic table perfectly sized for squirrels to poke a little fun at Laurie’s passion for feeding them at their North Hudson home. When their daughter, Elizabeth, posted a photo of it on Facebook, joking her dad was losing it during the quarantine, people immediately wanted one.
The family had no idea what was about to come from The Squirrel Projects. They thought they’d sell a few; instead they’ve sold more than 10,000 tables and have amassed a happy fan following that greets Laurie every morning when she digs into her in-box to read joyful reviews.
Danny and Laurie, with their son, Tom, who is co-founder of the company, knew from the beginning they wanted to give a large portion of the proceeds back to help others. Initially, every Thursday, using their catering skills, Laurie says they created beautifully packaged healthy meals for those on the front lines and essential workers.
“We drove all over the state just dropping off meals,” says the mom of five and grandmother of five. “People loved it.”
Now they are giving money to causes suggested by people in The Squirrel Projects Facebook Group.
“Every week we do a little something for somebody,” she says, adding the catering business is starting to finally get busy again, too.