OXFORD — Friday morning, after Halloween winds whipped power-lines down around Oxford County, Aaron Ouellette, owner of Daddy O’s, noticed that the diner was busier than normal.

So he did some sleuthing.

“We started seeing people we hadn’t seen before. Turns out, they were Market Square regulars. After asking some of them why they were here, they told us that Market Square lost power,” said Ouellette. Friday stretched into Saturday, and Ouellete saw that Market Square was still without power.

Ouellette knew that was a nightmare scenario. Friday, Saturday, Sunday are the busiest days of the week for restaurants, and almost all of them get major deliveries on Thursdays to bulked up for the weekend. A weekend with no power could spell thousands of dollars of waste.

“We sat back and said if this happened to us, what the heck would we do … that’s a really unfortunate and unseen set of circumstances … let’s reach out and see how we might be able to help,” said Ouellette.

So, Ouellette sent Market Square a private Facebook message, saying that Daddy O’s had plenty of freezer and walk-in space available. Ouellette had never even met the owners; he said he viewed it as a way to bridge a gap between two community-based restaurants and introduce himself to his neighbor.

Market Square almost took Daddy O’s up on the offer; but power was restored on Saturday, Nov. 2. Still, Market Square was grateful for the offer.

“Thank you for reaching out with your amazing offer when I didn’t know where else to turn,” Market Square wrote in a Facebook Post November 2.

Ouellette said he received a little bit of push-back from some who questioned why he would help competition. But Ouellette said he doesn’t see things that way. First off, Market Square and Daddy O’s aren’t direct competitors; they’re a few miles away, and both restaurants have distinct menus.

Ouellete said that when one restaurant in Oxford Hills thrives, all of them do.

“We’re all in the same boat. We’re all trying to make a living. I don’t compete with anyone around town. We do our own thing, we do it really well, and I want to see everyone do well. The more people that thrive in this community, the better,” said Ouellete.

“If more people hear about how to take care of others before themselves, if that’s the message they get, then I’m happy. I think the world and this community would be a better place if everyone thought of others before themselves.  If everybody takes care of everybody, nobody has anything to worry about,” said Ouellete.

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