Two parishes host Drive-Thru Taprooms to provide food and support local businesses Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Angela Curio, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, May. 14, 2020 -- 12:00 AM
Drive-Thru Taproom
Cars line up for a Drive-Thru Taproom at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Madison.(Contributed photo)

MADISON/WAUNAKEE -- Two parishes -- St. Maria Goretti in Madison and St. John the Baptist in Waunakee -- supported local businesses by hosting Drive-Thru Taprooms providing food and beverages.

Those attending the event also had the option of offering a free will donation to the parish with their order.

Promoting businesses, helping parishioners

"This all came together quickly, and we didn't have much of a playbook to follow," said Mark Shapleigh, business manager at St. Maria Goretti parish. "The central event coordinator was Karben4 Brewing compan

"We suggested many of the vendors who are parish members. Karben4 contacted and coordinated with the vendors and a few others, as well as supplied the majority of helpers and logistics on-site those days.

"So it was a way to promote those local businesses and get some different food and drink to people, as well as to get parishioners out of their houses and 'doing something.'"

The first Drive-Thru Taproom occurred in the parking lot of St. John the Baptist Parish on April 8 followed by another on April 15. St. Maria Goretti started its taproom on April 16, and the events have been hosted weekly.

Vendors included Boston's Take & Bake, Guilty Café cookies, Fischer Family Farm, and Mooyah Burgers, to name just a few. And on April 29, St. John the Baptist added a collection for the Waunakee Food Pantry.

Turnout exceeded expectations

Turnout to the events have exceeded expectations, with certain items selling out and the chain of traffic moving beyond the parking lot.

"We have officially sold out in under 30 minutes!" read the post on Facebook from Sweet Pea Floral on April 8. "We will be back next week with an even bigger supply and hope to see you all there!"

On April 16, St. Maria Goretti ran out of burgers. "We did exhaust the supply of burgers the first week -- 500, I think. So, we had that vendor bring more the second week, going through about 700," said Shapleigh.

Safety measures

To keep safe, "each vendor supplied a couple of people to manage their supply. Then, Karben4 managed the order taking, payment process, and loading of orders into cars. All participants remained in their cars with all interactions occurring through an open car window."

Volunteers wore masks, passed out sanitizing wipes for people's credit cards, then "a volunteer loaded their order, closed the trunk, and sent them on their way," he added.

Shapleigh said another Drive-Thru Taproom was planned for May 7, but beyond that they're not sure. "With the governor's recent order extension, we may well plan more in May, but right now that hasn't been determined."

Several parishioners from both parishes commented on how well organized these events have been.

The event typically runs from 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti and 3 to 6 p.m. at St. John the Baptist. Check Karben4 Brewing's Facebook page for details at @Karben4.

St. Maria Goretti also posts about its events on Facebook at @SMGParishMadison

St. John the Baptist does not have an official Facebook page but can be found online at

Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison will be hosting its Drive Thru Tap and Taste Room on Friday, May 15 and 22, from 3 to 6 p.m.

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