St. Augustine Restaurant Association creates foundation to help local hospitality workers


The St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association (SAiRA) recently launched the SAiRA Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting St. Augustine workers primarily within the hospitality industry who are in extreme need, and to promoting hospitality-based education.

“Hospitality workers are the backbone of our local and tourist-based community,” said Jeremy Ticehurst, president of SAiRA Foundation and manager at the Reef Restaurant. “They’re also susceptible to upheavals in their lives due to storms, illnesses or other misfortunes. The foundation will help provide support when they need it to get them and their family back on their feet.”

Over a dozen locally-owned and managed St. Augustine restaurants make up the membership of SAiRA. Together, the restaurants employ over 500 hospitality workers in the community.

“Our restaurants consider employees to be part of a huge family,” said Ticehurst. “And families take care of each other. When two hurricanes hit our area within a year, we personally saw the impact catastrophes can have on our employees. Many were displaced. Belongings were lost. There was loss of income. We saw a need and decided to create the foundation.”

In addition to supporting workers in need, the SAiRA Foundation will also promote hospitality education, with activities including hospitality training within the service industry in St. Augustine.

“A well-trained workforce will have a positive impact on our tourist-based community,” said Ticehurst.

Initial funding for the SAiRA Foundation will come from association members. Throughout the year, the SAiRA Foundation will host community events and fundraisers. Anyone interested in donating to the foundation can visit

Formed in 2008, SAiRA members build relationships through the sharing of information and supporting local independent restaurants. Members work side-by-side to help each other exceed the expectations of guests and advance St. Augustine’s unique culinary and cultural diversity.

For more information, call Business Solutions Unlimited, LLC at (904) 429-4588 or send an email to