Palm Beach Day School students help make family's business a success

Palm Beach Day School.

Several times a week the living legends, the pioneers of the black community in south florida come to Payne AME Chapel along Division Street in West Palm Beach. They are the people who lived here through segregation, integration, and went on to break barriers in our community.

"People thought it was a big thing, but we didn't think of it like that," Marie Andrews said.

She and her husband Edward Andrews are just a pair in the crowd at Payne, but their story of marriage, parenthood, and operating a business --the lunch program at the prestigious Palm Beach Day School-- is a unique one.

"The parents appreciate us because a lot of them didn't have time and they know we took care of their kids." Mr. Andrews said.

Marie already worked in the cafeteria and says the headmaster allowed the couple to contract the business from the school. Even with a growing family, the Andrews had saved up just enough money.

"Everything fell right into place; they took care of us and saw we took care of them," Ed said.

At the time only two other African Americans owned businesses there. The Andrews credit the white students of Palm Beach Day School for making it easy for them.

"Once those kids fell in love with us, they went home to tell mom and dad; it didn't matter how rich. And it just ended up being a love affair," Marie said.

The family has now left Palm Beach Day School, but they are still in contact with folks at the school. Every year for Christmas the family distributes toys collected by students at Palm Beach Day School.

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