Business revving up since owner starts raffle to sell off motorcycle to save Sanford restaurant

SANFORD, Fla. — Hope is on the horizon for a Sanford restaurant owner who started a raffle this month to sell off her motorcycle to help save her business.

The pandemic caused financial troubles for Shantell Williams, owner of Shantell’s in Sanford. To help turn things around, she announced earlier this month that she’d raffle off her Harley Davidson to help keep the restaurant afloat.

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Since Channel 9 first reported on Williams’ plight, she said more and more customers have started to trickle in. She said the weekend after it aired, every chair in the restaurant was filled.

“To walk in here out of the kitchen I could barely fit through the door,” Williams said. “My grin was so big.”

READ: Owner of Shantell’s in Sanford raffling off Harley to save restaurant

And this past Saturday, they closed up shop early because they ran out of food to sell. And one couple drove hundreds of miles from Virginia just to get some grub.

But Williams said while she’s seen more business, she is still raffling off her Harley. So far she’s sold 300 tickets, but she may sell thousands more this weekend.

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A law enforcement motorcycle club that heard about her story, told her they’d come by and buy thousands of tickets.

“He said some very enduring words that truly touched my heart and said they will be here this coming Saturday for lunch to buy thousands of tickets and ‘we don’t want you to lose your bike but we are going to buy thousands of tickets to ensure, to almost guarantee us winning so we can get your bike back,’” Williams said.

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Williams said the raffle tickets will continue to be on sale until the first of the year. She is hoping to raise about $100,000 to keep her place open.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.