KATs Inc. delivers more than groceries

LeAnna Strickland and Maurice Mercer teamed up to deliver groceries to those who cannot go grocery shopping themselves. (Reporter Photo / Jessa Pease)

LeAnna Strickland and Maurice Mercer teamed up to deliver groceries to those who cannot go grocery shopping themselves. (Reporter Photo / Jessa Pease)

 

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer 

PELHAM— As a child, Pelham City Council member Maurice Mercer remembers writing a biography on his mother for school. She was nurse at UAB, and Mercer will never forget her response when he asked her why she chose nursing.

“She said she found it rewarding to help people in the hour when they don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Mercer said. “To be there, not only medically, but she could be there for them spiritually and in prayer. I think that stuck with me, that spirit of service.”

Unfortunately, Mercer’s mother, Kathryn Jenkins, was forced to retire from UAB because of an autoimmune disability called scleroderma. Mercer said this disability limited Jenkins’ ability to do even the most normal of day-to-day activities, including her own grocery shopping.

Mercer took over the grocery shopping for his mother, and as he unpacked groceries, the two began to talk about a business that would deliver groceries for people who couldn’t do it for themselves.

Although Mercer’s mother passed away in November 2013, Mercer was able to create the Karing, Agape and Transitional Services Inc., or KATs Inc., in her memory. The organization became incorporated as a non-medical care company in August 2014 and began serving clients in January 2015.

“It means the world to be able to see the dream that she and I discussed come to pass,” Mercer said. “Seeing it as it begins to take off, it’s exciting. For me it’s kind of a healing process as well. It feels good to give back.”

He has teamed up with LeAnna Strickland, and the two have been deliver meals to various clients from elderly and disabled persons to pregnant moms to families with two working parents.

“(My favorite part is) just helping people out that need the service,” Strickland said.  “I love getting there and them being like, ‘Oh, thank you so much for helping me out.’ I really enjoy that part of it.”

Clients can call, email or text KATs Inc. to request services. Mercer said they will have a conversation concerning specific needs, groceries and the specific grocery stores. Clients submit lists through email, text or through the website.

Mercer said possibilities for the future are endless at KATs Inc., and the organization is currently in the running for a Wells Fargo Works for Small Business grant that will be announced mid-July. He said the grant is an opportunity to gain mentorship and working capital to strengthen and grow the brand.

For more information, visit TheKatsInc.com or call 624-0777.