Des Moines, IA- Oct. 9 – Last night Jessica Baldus, Owner of Taste by Unc’s Cheesecakes in Osage, was awarded the 2018 Small Community Restaurant Neighbor Philanthropy Award by the Iowa Restaurant Association for her support of children’s programs in her community. She was presented the award at a ceremony in Des Moines by the Incoming Chairman of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors Joe Essa of Wolfgang Puck Worldwide and the Current Chairman of the Iowa Restaurant Association Board of Directors Darin Beck of Barmuda Companies. Baldus’ nomination will now be submitted with winners from all 50 states for national award consideration.
“Ninety percent of restaurants and bars give time and money to their local communities,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, who hosted the Awards Ceremony. “Jessica Baldus exemplifies the type of impact one hospitality establishment can make on an entire community.”
Always an entrepreneur, Baldus got her start making desserts for Des Moines area restaurants while she studiedentrepreneurshipat DMACC in Ankeny. Before long, her company had grown to the point where she could make it her full time job. She opted to move back to her hometown of Osage and open a brick and mortar restaurant called Taste by Unc’s Cheesecakes.
Baldus quickly decided to focus her philanthropic efforts on the Accelerated Reading Program at Osage Lincoln Elementary School as well as the Bridges Mentoring Program.
The Accelerated Reading Program is used by teachers at Lincoln Elementary as a way of promoting reading to students by offering incentives for reading a certain number of books. Jessica donates tasty treats as an incentive for the students. The Bridges Mentoring program pairs children with mentors in the county and Jessica donates her time and food for their events as well.
A video showcasing Baldus and her philanthropic work can be found at www.restaurantiowa.com.
Iowa Restaurant Association
The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s restaurant and bar industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.
Public Relations Specialist