The small town of McCausland, IA is known for two things: the beautiful wetlands of the Wapsi River and their tight knit community. Jason and Jen Waldorf were new to McCausland when they decided to fulfill their dream of opening a restaurant in 2009. Fast forward 15 years and The Lucky Frog Bar and Grill has become a vital part of McCausland and the surrounding area.
The Lucky Frog focuses on creating a gathering place for people to connect with each other and enjoy delicious food. The Waldorfs went all in and became a pivotal part of the community’s structure. From partnering with Living Lands and Waters to clean up the Wapsi River, to organizing fundraisers that benefit the sick or injured in the community, The Lucky Frog is more than a restaurant. It’s become a place for people to gather and support one another. In the past 15 years, they’ve been a key partner in raising more than $250,000 for community members in need.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they faced hardships similar to other restaurants—figuring out how to sustain a business on delivery and takeout services, ensuring their existing employees were able to keep working, and developing new ways to stay connected to their customers. While the transition wasn’t easy, they quickly established new protocols that allowed them to continue feeding the community. Think that was enough for them? Not quite.
Prior to the pandemic, most seniors would go to an area senior center for a hot meal, but health protocols made that no longer a viable option, so The Lucky Frog began working with Milestones Area Agency on Aging, an organization providing support for senior citizens.
In an effort to ensure that the senior citizens of the McCausland area were still fed and supported, The Lucky Frog became Milestones’ partner to deliver meals to those in need. In the last two years, they’ve grown the program from 7 to over 30 clients in their area. In addition to the meal delivery service, the Lucky Frog began working with Milestones to create a dine-in program for seniors when pandemic restrictions lifted. Last year, they completed the food nutrition program through the state of Iowa and became the first restaurant in Iowa to be approved to begin an in-house meal program for seniors.
The ribs and fried catfish have won awards, yes, but the Lucky Frog is more than a restaurant. They care deeply about their community and have worked tirelessly to care for others. Pie is grateful to be a small part of ensuring that The Lucky Frog gets to continue caring for the people of McCausland, IA. We’re happy to announce that they are one of Pie’s 2022 Upper Crust Awards Runner-Ups. Thank you for all the amazing work you do!