JENNIFER & BRYAN CASWELL
Two big fish in the local restaurant scene help first responders and launch a relief foundation.
When restaurateur Bryan Caswell and his wife, Jennifer, went to inspect roof damage at their Midtown spot, Reef—which Bon Appétit named the No. 1 seafood restaurant in America back in 2008—they saw a kitchen in good shape and plenty of food. They immediately got to work and made Reef a command center for meal preparation and distribution to shelters all over Houston and the Gulf Coast. “Jennifer was a force of nature on social media,” Bryan says, “and we started finding out the widespread need for food across the region.” Before long, the duo had a well-oiled machine of food-product donations from distributors paired with an army of volunteers who helped prep and deliver meals to first responders, shelters and other areas in need. As lovers of the Gulf Coast, the Caswells not only dished out the best for their hometown, but they also focused on the smaller towns ravaged by the storm, such as Rockport, Port Arthur and Beaumont. The couple founded the Southern Salt Foundation in 2015, and it helps them continue the effort to directly provide aid to victims along the coast.