Driveway meals give pantry a boost

Restaurateur, family pitch in during pandemic by selling food to raise funds for Saukville agency

BRIAN WARD SUPPORTED the Saukville Community Food Pantry by selling meals from his restaurant, Ward’s House of Prime, in his driveway in the Misty Ridge subdivision on Sunday, April 26. Ward, shown with his wife Jennifer and sons Thomas (left) and Jimmy, plans on doing a similar sale Sunday, May 3. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

People gotta eat, they say, and Brian Ward is doing everything in his power to help them do just that, whether it means serving meals at one of his four Milwaukee-area restaurants or serving food from his driveway to raise money for the Saukville Community Food Pantry.

“One thing I can do is cook food and create,” said Ward, who lives in the Misty Ridge subdivision in the City of Port Washington with his wife Jennifer, who grew up in Saukville, and their two sons, Jimmy, 12, and Thomas, 10.

“Its a good thing. I can share that with people. We were able to raise a lot of money.”

Ward — who owns Wards House of Prime in Milwaukee and the three Point Burger Bars in Milwaukee, New Berlin and Pewaukee — presold 115 meals for $2,800 to benefit the Saukville pantry. 

The meals were prepared at House of Prime and picked up Sunday, April 26, at Ward’s driveway, where he gave buyers instructions on how to reheat the meals. There also were barrels for donations to the pantry.

Like other restaurants, dine-in service at Ward’s restaurants is suspended during the coronavirus outbreak. The eateries continue to operate, however, by offering carry-out service.

“It’s a tough, tough time for us. Sales are not where they were and we’ve had to lay off a lot of people. We’re struggling to survive,” Ward said.

“But there are always other people who need help, and you have to do what you can. Charitable work has always been a big part of the our life.”

Ward has organized fundraisers for the Hunger Task Force, a Milwaukee-based food bank, and it occurred to him to do something similar in Ozaukee County.

“We’re really proud of what we’re doing in Milwaukee, but I wanted to do something for our community here,” he said.

“I asked my wife how the Saukville food pantry was doing, and she said it had more people coming in and needed some help.”

He called Misty Ridge resident Sara Pashak, who is president of the pantry’s board of directors. Together, they came up with the plan and put out the word on the Misty Ridge Facebook page.

In five hours, they had sold all 115 dinners that Ward was capable of bringing to his house. Pashak said she was shocked when she got Ward’s call.

“Out of the blue he called me and said he wanted to sell dinners out of his driveway and donate all of the proceeds to the pantry,” she said. “I mean ALL of the proceeds — he won’t even keep enough to cover the ingredients. I’m just in awe.”

Ward, who grew up in Wauwatosa and moved to northern Ozaukee County in 1999 to work at Smith Bros. restaurant, said he will hold another fundraiser Sunday, May 3, and probably more after that.

Anyone interested in ordering or helping out can email him at

Ward said he doesn’t see things improving economically anytime soon for restaurants because summer festivals such as Bastille Days, Fish Day and Summerfest have either been canceled or postponed.

“That’s scary for restaurants who depend on those events to stay in business,” he said.

But Ward said he plans to continue helping others.  That includes his employees.

“Every Saturday, we do a meal for our staff. It’s about taking care of those around us,” he said.





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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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